The fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry in Vietnam has been growing fast in recent years. Thanks to Vietnam’s rapid economic development, people have more disposable income, hence an improved living standard with an increasing consumption rate of FMCG products. Urbanization has been another driver of the double-digit growth of the FMCG market before the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, despite the ongoing pandemic, the annual growth of retail sales of consumer goods in the country still reached 6.8 percent before contracting the first decline in years due to various serious COVID-19 outbreaks across the country throughout the second half of 2021.

The FMCG market landscape in Vietnam

In both urban and rural Vietnam, the monthly expenditure for FMCG products has been increasing in past years. Although the spending amount on these products among the urban population has been much higher than that of their rural counterparts, the gap is narrowing fast. According to forecasts, the growth rate of in-home FMCG value in rural Vietnam will surpass urban areas’ value growth in 2021. While dairy products accounted for the largest share of the FMCG expenditure of urban inhabitants, packaged grocery items were responsible for the highest FMCG value in rural areas. Despite the differences in spending patterns, personal care, packaged food, and dairy have been the FMCG categories with the highest value growth rate regardless of the degree of urbanization.
International consumer goods companies such as the Korean Masan Group, Japanese Acecook, and the multinational Unilever own the majority of the most chosen FMCG brands in Vietnam . Meanwhile, several Vietnamese corporations have also secured their positions among the leading consumer goods brands across the country. For instance, despite the entrance of many foreign brands into the market, the local company Vinamilk has been dominating the dairy industry, holding almost half of the market share .  

COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts on the Vietnamese FMCG market

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed the consumption and shopping habits of Vietnamese consumers in the past year. It brought about an increased level of concern for health and hygiene, resulting in a surge in personal hygiene product consumption among Vietnamese at the beginning of the pandemic. In 2020, sanitizers saw a market growth of over 1000 percent among urban consumers in the country. At the same time, a significant number of consumers nationwide engaged in stockpiling goods, leading to exponential growth in sales of products such as dry food and packaged groceries. Due to several imposed lockdowns in many regions in Vietnam, online shopping saw the highest increase in usage among all retail outlet types in Vietnam . The use of e-commerce for consumer goods has become a new habit that stays with Vietnamese consumers even after the pandemic.


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