Rahul Sachitanand
Mar 5, 2020

Nimble marketers can benefit from changes in Vietnamese consumer purchases: Nielsen

Personal care, frozen foods, online grocery could benefit from enforced COVID-19 consumption changes

Consumers have increasingly opted to shop online rather than risk getting infected by visiting brick-and-mortar stores
Consumers have increasingly opted to shop online rather than risk getting infected by visiting brick-and-mortar stores

Even as the government runs a catchy and informative campaign to battle COVID-19, marketers in Vietnam need to be nimble with their plans, by aggressively adopting digital strategies to meet the changing requirements of the country's population, new Nielsen findings show. Sectors ranging from retail to media and consumer goods all need to closely watch how consumer preferences are changing as they safeguard themselves from what is quickly becoming a global pandemic. 

According to the survey, 45% of respondents have said that they are stocking up with more food at home than before. Brick & mortar channels have been impacted, as over 50% of people have reduced their frequency of visits to supermarkets, grocery stores and wet markets.

Instead, 25% of respondents said that they have increased their online shopping and have reduced their out of home consumption occasions. “This provides an opportunity for marketers to be aggressive with their digital strategies and should have a stronger and visible presence online,” said Mohit Agrawal, head of consumer insights at Nielsen Vietnam.

As people stay home, and prepared to be confined for a significant duration, they are also consuming a changing assortment of products at home. For example, there is a strong growth in categories such as instant noodles (+67%), frozen food (+40%) and sterilized sausage (+19%).

And, as hygeine becomes laser-focus for consumers, brands in these cateogories can benefit too. Personal care (mouthwash +78%, personal wash +45% and facial tissue +35%) and home care consumption is on the rise. Agarwal adds that marketers can try to convert these short-term habit changes into a long-term opportunity for their brands. "This can be done by educating the consumers about the benefits and also with the right market strategy of being available at the right outlet and at the right price,” he contends.

For brands looking to tap the burgeoning Vietnam market, the COVID-19 outbreak provides some unexpected opportunities in a distressing time. For instance, 40% of respondents said they spent more time watching TV and 35% spent more time watching online content. Advertisers and marketers could benefit from this larger audience by tweaking their strategies by targeting them with specific offerings across accordingly. 

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