SECC, Ho Chi Minh City

Branding solutions for the food industry

On October 20th 2016, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung signed the Official Letter No. 8981 / VPCP-KTTH assigned Ministry of Industry and Trade as a host, in collaboration with related agencies and sectoral associations to implement the “Vietnam Food branding strategy” program.

The “Vietnam Food branding strategy” program is a component of the National Branding Program in order to build and develop sectoral brands which have export strength and competitiveness, focusing on value promotion for the Vietnam food industry.

The aim of the program is to develop and promote effectively a general image of the Vietnam food industry, increase the awareness and recognition on the international scale of the value of Vietnamese food, thereby contributing to promote the growth of the food industry, strengthen trade promotion activities, and boost exports of Vietnamese food products to the world.

The program has launched since 2014, from the practical needs of companies, industry and trade associations (food, seafood, vegetables, tea, coffee, pepper, cashew nuts, honey honey, coconut) and trade promotion organizations. The program is divided into 4 stages.

At present, with the coordination of agencies, organizations and related associations, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has completed Phase 1 (Defining objectives and methodology) and Phase 2 (Research & Analysis). Currently, Phase 3 (Developing strategies) is in the process of deploying, starting in March 2016 and is expected to end by March 2017. Phase 4 - Implementation of the strategy (2017-2020) will be implemented in the form of a consultancy, media, advertising, marketing and building national food industry’s image campaign.

On October 4th 2016 in Hanoi, Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) - The Ministry of Industry and Trade, The Centre for Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries of the Netherlands (CBI) and The Project for Trade and Investment Support Policy of the European (EU-MUTRAP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in implementation of the program to build brand strategy for the Vietnam food industry. The MOU will help create momentum for the operation of the program in the next phases.

Agriculture and food are among the great potential sectors of Vietnam, play an important role in promoting exports, creating jobs and raising incomes for workers in the agricultural sector. Currently, trade promotion activities of agricultural and food sector  in Vietnam are running by  associations, trade promotion organizations and companies in many different markets in the world with such key categories such as seafood, vegetables, tea, coffee, pepper, cashew nuts, honey... However, at the national level, the efforts of each export commodity would not create power and the lack of an overall strategy of brand building and development of the sector makes domestic and foreign customers not fully aware and appreciate for the quality, value and supplying competence of agricultural products and foods of Vietnam.  Vietnamese organizations and companies need to cooperate well in order to promote Vietnam agricultural products and foods to the world. Hopefully, the “Vietnam Food branding strategy” program will be one of the professional and efficient solutions, contributing to strengthen trade promotion and export support activities for the promising food industry of Vietnam.

Mr. Ta Hoang Linh, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Ministry of Industry and Trade) reviews, "Our weakness is that main export products are mostly raw materials rather than processed products which do not create more added value. With the "entrance waves" of foreign foods, especially European foods in Vietnam, the Ministry of Industry and Trade also has the “Vietnam Food branding strategy” program to increase its position in the world export market".

"By mid-2017, we will come up with a branding strategy for the food industry," Mr. Ta Hoang Linh said and supposed that the Vietnam International Food Industry Exhibition 2016 (Vietnam Foodexpo 2016) is one of the solutions to help promote brands and connects Vietnam food industry with the world. This year, the exhibition is expected to have 550 booths of 400 exhibitors from 30 provinces  and cities nationwide and 15 countries. In particular, Italy is invited as the Country of Honor at the exhibition.