Vietnam’s cold chain industry is poised to rise significantly over the next four years as demand for chilled and frozen food surges across the country, in large part due to a steady increase in convenience stores across the country. According to a recent study by international grocery research organization IGD, Vietnam is expected to be the fastest-growing convenience market in Asia by 2021. Predictions show the market growing by as much as 37.4 percent in that time, based on performance assessments of the leading convenience store operators in markets across Asia.
Spurred by rapid urbanization, a growing young population and greater levels of disposable income, convenience stores show the strongest growth prospects among all brick-and-mortar grocery channels, according to IGD.
Vietnam c-stores have become increasingly popular destinations in recent years, especially for young consumers looking for an all-in-one, air-conditioned place to both shop and socialize. Savvy operators have recognized local demand by modernizing merchandising systems, providing freshly prepared foods, retailing a mix of both local and imported goods, and – in some stores – even offering free Wi-Fi, in an effort to court and keep consumers.
The formula is working and major players (FamilyMart, Aeon) are speeding up store rollout in a battle for market share. Local players are also gaining a foothold, with domestic brands such as VinMart scaling up operations and establishing leadership in their local markets. By last June there were 1,500 convenience stores across the country and the number is expected to boom in the next three years, with 1,300 new supermarkets and around 350 trade centers by 2020, according to ABA Cooltrans, a domestic refrigerated transport specialist.
This rapid growth is driving demand for refrigerated transport to support the expansion. ABA plans to add 200 reefer trucks by 2020, and the U.S. should see an increase in both used and new refrigerated truck and van exports to Vietnam. This presents a huge opportunity to upscale efficiently to meet the needs of the increasing cold chain market.
Sea Cargo Inc. is uniquely positioned to support cold truck import and export into Vietnam. In the past 2 years, we have successfully shipped more than 200 trucks to the country and have an excellent agent to support customs clearance and documentation.