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Jon Aspin

Vietnam Foodservice Seminar 2018 makes headlines


Decision Lab and Eurocham welcomed over 150 of Vietnam’s top F&B executives and managers to this year’s Foodservice Industry Seminar, which they co-hosted at the Liberty Central Saigon Citypoint Hotel on November 14th.

Over 100 companies participated including leading FMCG brands Nestle, Friesland Campina, Fonterra and Suntory Pepsico, as well as distributors and chain operators including Food Source International and Golden Gate Group.

Along with other investors, brand owners, food manufacturers and members of the media, they were privy to Decision Lab’s Head of Foodservice Research, Ms. Nghiem Vu Huong Linh’s recap of the year that was in Vietnam’s burgeoning foodservice industry.

Highlights of her talk included a summary of why women are now driving the out-of-home dining market; the continuing struggles of quick service chains in Vietnam, and a recent shift away from Western cuisine that may surprise some.


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Assembled guests then had the opportunity to hear Decision Lab co-founder Mr. Thue Quist Thomasen address the seminar’s main topic, the need for innovation in creating profitable foodservice partnerships between operators and manufacturers.

With particular focus on the local coffee market, drink pairings and snacks for women, he outlined how these stakeholders can act to drive growth and profitability in what he called a ‘hostile but profitable market.’


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Following this, the audience witnessed a panel discussion on the topic of foodservice innovation and had access to the first-hand experiences of the three panelists, each of them Foodservice and Innovation experts who have been driving new taste markets in Vietnam: Ms. Nguyen Phi Van, Chairwoman of Saigon Innovation Hub; Mr. Nguyen Nam Tien, MD of V Lotus Holding and Mr. Tim Scott, the Co-founder of Quan Ut Ut and BiaCraft Artisan Ales.

A Q&A session in front of local and international media brought proceedings to a close before a networking breakfast allowed guests to digest the morning's findings.

A summary of media coverage generated by the event:


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Vietnamese prefer Asian over Western cuisine 
- Nov 16, 2018

“Consumers want to try new things and expect new experiences when dining out. They can interact with BBQ and Hotpot cuisines by socializing with friends and family while enjoying the signature sizzling sound, watching meat being cooked, and grilling their food how they want to.” - Nghiem Vu Huong Linh

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Fast food in free fall? Vietnamese prefer full service eateries 
- Nov 16, 2018

“The findings suggest that consumers have become very selective in their choice of outlets to visit and that not all outlets can benefit from the increasing demand without making significant efforts to become attractive and worth trying.” - Nghiem Vu Huong Linh

Women can make or break Vietnam’s F&B industry 
- Nov 21, 2018

“Decision Lab points out that the growing influence of women on the foodservice market is real and the industry would be well advised to use female-friendly messages to increase traffic.”

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QSR sector in Vietnam sees further decline in visits: study 
- Nov 21, 2018

“Whether this fall of QSR is to prolong in the future would depend very much on how well and how fast the key players in this segment adapt and improve their offerings and differentiate themselves against CVS in the range of products, quality, value for money and convenience.” - Nghiem Vu Huong Linh

*QSR: Quick service restaurants

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