Enterprises in HCMC’s market stabilization program increase production of snacks

Besides diversifying products, most of the enterprises participating in the Market Stabilization Program of Ho Chi Minh City have been in tune with and encroached into the field of manufacturing light meals and popular snacks to provide more choices for consumers.
Workers produce quail egg offal at Vinh Thanh Dat Company. (Photo: SGGP)
Workers produce quail egg offal at Vinh Thanh Dat Company. (Photo: SGGP)

At this time, if there is any street food available, enterprises will also produce that dish. Even dishes that seem to only be found in the street, such as mixed rice paper, beef offal, stir-fried corn, crab paste vermicelli soup, and crab rice pancake soup, are now also available on the shelves of supermarkets. In other words, for those who need light meals and snacks but are concerned about the safety and hygiene of street foods, they are now satisfied by big brands.

Vissan is one of the food manufacturers that take the lead in the trend of producing snacks. After the instant spring roll product was launched to the market and welcomed by consumers, in 2019, Vissan continued to launch some new products, including crispy pork rinds and beef offal. These two items immediately have attracted the attention of young people in the country. According to Mr. Phan Van Dung, Deputy General Director of Vissan, with other products, Vissan can use the available raw materials from cattle slaughter, but for crispy pork rinds, raw materials must be imported from Europe to fully meet the criteria for production, as well as ensure nutrition for consumers.

After many years of building and gaining reputations in the market with fresh eggs, in 2015, Vinh Thanh Dat Food Joint Stock Company launched all kinds of instant eggs, such as quail egg offal, stew chicken eggs, and braised duck eggs, to conduct market survey, the purchasing power was quite slow at that time. But when Vinh Thanh Dat brought these products to introduce them within the framework of the seminar on increasing investment and trade between Vietnam and Russia held in Moscow in 2015, they were highly appreciated here. This has become the motivation for the company to continue to maintain production.

By the period of 2017-2018, the market exploded with the appearance of more and more convenience stores and supermarkets, which has made this item grow by more than 100 percent per year. Getting ahead of the trend, Vinh Thanh Dat invested in expanding the factory to increase output. According to Mr. Truong Chi Thien, Director of the company, in the beginning, instant products processed from eggs aimed at the convenience of housewives, but then they have become a snack, providing nutrients for fast meals of young people and office workers. On the other hand, consumers are paying more and more attention to food safety and convenience, so stores have grown rapidly, and this is the main selling channel of instant egg products.

Most recently, Vinh Thanh Dat Company was chosen as a partner by a Japanese company to develop a line of soft-boiled eggs to supply for convenience stores and supermarkets and sell wholesale all kinds of braised eggs to diners. 

‘For a long time, instant eggs were mainly sold to consumers, but now restaurants and diners are also using a large number of eggs. Buying fresh eggs for processing will take time and undergo some losses as it is made by hands. With current technology, when boiling eggs, the yolk can be adjusted to the middle, and eggs are peeled by machine to ensure aesthetics, so this segment has developed quite well,’ Mr. Truong Chi Thien said.

Not only in the domestic market, but Vinh Thanh Dat Company is also aiming to export processed eggs to the regional market through existing domestic distribution channels.

At the end of 2019, Ba Huan Joint Stock Company also officially launched new product lines made from chicken meat, such as skewers, chicken sausages, and spicy pickled chicken feet. 

In the menu of the 7-Eleven convenience stores in Ho Chi Minh City, there are dozens of fresh dishes prepared every day, serving the needs of Vietnamese people. Of which, there are many popular snacks, such as stir-fried corn, mixed rice paper, fresh spring rolls with Chinese sausage, and summer rolls. Among these snacks, mixed rice paper and stir-fried corn are best-sellers in this network, although their prices are quite high. According to Ms. Le Thi Thanh Lam, Deputy General Director of Saigon Food Joint Stock Company, which currently supplies half of the fresh food and snacks for 7-Eleven, the demand for street foods, and snacks are extremely high, but not every dish can large companies participate in.

To ensure food safety, the dish must be controlled from raw materials, processing to preserving, and distribution. The company's snacks must ensure a shelf life of 48 hours, so it requires close cooperation of distribution channels, instead of being sold normally like other products. Even as for mixed rice paper, although the company has got 15 ingredients in the product, there are still a few missing ingredients, compared to the street version of mixed rice paper, because it cannot control the factor of food safety.

Not only producing, some leading enterprises of the city, such as the Saigon Trading Group (Satra) also open a chain of restaurants to introduce regional specialties and Vietnamese street foods to domestic and foreign diners.

When it comes to light meals and snacks, consumers rarely think that convenience comes with quality. Like other product ranges, consumers are trying to be more cautious about light meals and snacks, and they are also looking for products with clear origin. Many experienced food manufacturers have captured this message from consumers, and they have simplified and reviewed the list of ingredients in their products on the market. This shows that there is a bigger trend that is slowly approaching the market.

A market survey by Innova Market, a reputable market research organization, on consumer trends in foods and beverages in 2019, shows that all foods and beverages are striving to innovate in many ways to meet the strong trend that is to develop snack products. Because snacking is no longer an additional option, but it has become the main meal.

According to market research experts, snacking is becoming a global trend. Therefore, enterprises need to continue to adjust their business plans, invest more in research and development of new product lines to catch up with changes in policies and leapfrog consumer trends, heading towards sustainable development.

Research by Innova Market shows that up to 63 percent of millennials (people born from 1980 to early 2000) are replacing their main meal with snacks because they are busy. 50 percent of Gen-X people (people born between 1961 and 1981) tend to cut back on sweet snacks, and 67 percent of older people are changing their diets to become healthier.

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