Background figures

Vietnam records the imported value of up to 28,386 thousand USD in 2016 for dog and cat food, ranking 53th the world over, in which the amount from the UK is 239 thousand USD. The big players are India (35.1%), Hong Kong/ China (24.4%), Thailand (18%), France (6%), etc.

Current Market Trends

The very low consumer awareness levels not just regarding the different products but also about the basics of pet healthcare, ownership is a challenge to the pet market. Despite these factors, Vietnam is a newly induced market space with lax regulatory structures giving significant leverage to big players. It is expected that there is no substantial change in the competitive landscape in dog food in 2017. International brands, especially mid-priced brands, are expected to maintain their leading positions in the category, as the presence of local brands remains negligible.

The market is segmented based on the product type, animal type, pricing and sales channels. Major distribution channels are large food/hyper stores that have pet food sections, veterinaries (Small Animal Care), government veterinarians, small pet shops, convenience stores, etc.

Market advantages

  • Growing amounts of young pet owners (65% of the population is under 35 years old) with increasing disposable incomes that want to enjoy the ‘western experience’ of pet ownership
  • Increasing significant social change in Vietnam: the rise of leisure time (time to spend with pets)
  • Targeting pet markets consisting of woman from 20 to 55 years old. Vietnamese women make ALL the purchases of household FMCG including pet care products and services
  • First-mover opportunities for local and international businesses in the pet industry of Vietnam: service markets are not fully developed.
  • Growing acceptance of pets as family members in Vietnam
  • Dog and cat pet markets are growing annually, however, there are large bird and fish markets in Vietnam
  • Many well organized ‘Dog Breed Clubs’ whose members are business owners or career oriented: good for marketing pet products and services. Not only dogs but there are clubs for birds and fish
  • Marketing potential of the Native of Dogs in Vietnam: Phu Quoc Ridgeback, H’mong and Bac Ha dogs, largely unknown to people outside Vietnam, generates a lot of pride in Vietnamese people.

Market weaknesses

  • Complex trade and customs barriers exist for importing pet products, especially food into Vietnam
  • Low price points demanded by consumers stalling the development of premium pet product markets
  • The high price of real estate will inhibit the growth of both small and larger pet retail ‘superstores’ in the major urban centers of Vietnam: Saigon, Hanoi, Da Nang and Can Tho
  • Much more consumer education and awareness is required by new and older pet owners in regards to why they should buy pet care products and services, especially in the food sector
  • Unregulated industry sector requiring more laws and government involvement especially in the sale of ‘live animals’, laws in protecting the theft of pets and Veterinarian practices

Market Entry

For the import of dog food products that are not yet permitted for sale in Vietnam, the decision to permit the sale of the animal feed in Vietnam must be obtained from the Department of Livestock Production and the quality inspection must be conducted.

Reference: Trade Map, Mordor Intelligence, PetsVietnam, Lawyer VN

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