Foreign corporations jump into street-food shops market
21-12-2017

The Vietnamese “street food” shop market with products such as steamed rice, banh mi (Vietnam sandwich), pho (noodle soup), banh xeo (Vietnamese crepe) and bun bo (beef noodle soup) is valued at VND47 trillion.

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The Vietnamese street food is valued at VND47 trillion

But foreign-invested food chains are exploiting the market better than Vietnamese.

Director of Banh My Viet JSC Tran Thi Bich Nga said she once dreamed of developing a sandwich chain of shops and making it well known in Vietnam and around the world.

She started her business in 2010, which prospered rapidly with four shops. However, the business later met difficulties. Nga recently decided to close all her shops to restructure her chain.

She said the banh my chain ‘flashed and faded out suddenly’ because of the lack of a long-term vision and professionalism.

Nga is not alone. Though the street food market has potential, many chains have not been able to expand. Vietnam’s stick sandwich, for example, once thrived with 37 percent of the market share, but the figure dropped to 13 percent last year.

Though the street food market has potential, many chains have not been able to expand. Vietnam’s stick sandwich, for example, once thrived with 37 percent of the market share, but the figure dropped to 13 percent last year.

Meanwhile, foreign brands have been prospering. CP Group from Thailand has been expanding Five Star – its street food chain with mobile shops and kiosks selling fried and roasted chicken. The chain’s market share increased rapidly from 26.5 percent in 2013 to 71.3 percent last year.

Other foreign street food brands from South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia and Singapore have also been flocking to Vietnam. Sources said a Vietnamese investor is seeking to become a franchisee of Old ChangKee, a Singaporean brand.

Nguyen Phi Van, a franchise expert, commented that foreign brands have been thriving while Vietnamese have not, as they cannot compete with international rivals.

However, Van believes that Vietnamese businesses still have other opportunities to develop street food and franchise street food brands globally.

“This is a great opportunity which Vietnamese businesses need to grab and do immediately. If Vietnam doesn’t have professional food chains and models, it will lose,”
Van said.

She went on to say that the first thing Vietnamese businesses need to do is to change their approach.

“It is a blunder to think that small business will only require small old-style management policies,
” she said. “There is no big or small management policies, there is only professional and unprofessional management.”

Meanwhile, Vo Van Quang, a branding expert, commented Vietnam still has many famous street food chains such as Ba Le Banh My, Van Banh My, Sau Minh Banh My and Xoi La Chuoi (steamed rice packed in banana leaf).

Kim Chi / VET

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