Vietnam. Thirsty drinkers make beer market sparkle

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Roughly 2.38 billion litres of beer was consumed in 2010, an increase of 19.8 per cent compared with 2009. Domestic beer consumption in 2011 is expected to reach 2.8 billion litres, according to Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).
“Vietnam is one of the largest beer markets in Asia-Pacific and of the highest growth potential,” Christopher Kidd, regional director of Singapore-listed Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd, which makes Heineken and Tiger beer, told VIR
Vietnam was the second largest beer market in Southeast Asia after Cambodia in 2009.
The market was forecast to expand by 5.6 per cent in the following years trailing behind Laos and Cambodia, released by research company Euromonitor International early last year.
Leading breweries including Sabeco and Habeco which currently account for 35 and 20 per cent respectively of the country’s beer market also saw a great expansion in their production and breweries according to Vietnam Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Association (VBA).
Sabeco reported fulfilling their projects and starting operation of its new breweries such as Saigon-Phu Ly Brewery with designed capacity of 100 million litres per year in May 2010, Saigon-Song Lam Brewery (100 million litres per year) and Saigon-Quang Ngai Brewery (100 million litres per year) in June last year.
“Last year our total production output reached 1.1 billion litres of beer, or 109 per cent of the annual target and an increase of 21 per cent against 2009. We expect to see the growth rate further with 20 per cent in 2011,” said Nguyen Quang Minh, general director of Sabeco.
Meanwhile Habeco, the leading brewer in northern Vietnam, also reached around 600 million litres of beer in 2010 or 102 per cent of the year’s plan and rising 31.6 per cent year on year, according to VBA.
MoIT deputy minister Ho Thi Kim Thoa said the domestic beer market would become increasingly severe in the coming period as more rivals would jump into the race.
Some major beer companies in the world such as Budweiser, Sapporo, San Miguel and Foster have found their ways in Vietnam.
Previously, Sapporo Holdings Ltd expected to launch beer production in Vietnam in early 2012, its second overseas facility after Canada.
“Sapporo will construct a brewery in a suburb of Ho Chi Minh City, the first beer plant to be built by a Japanese brewer in Vietnam where beer sales have been growing at an annual rate of more than 10 per cent,” quoted Japan Today online newspaper.