Thailand is the leading producer and exporter of agricultural products in Southeast Asia, but Vietnamese agricultural products still have many opportunities in this market.
According to Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy, Deputy Director of the Export Support Center under the Department of Trade Promotion (Ministry of Industry and Trade), Thailand is a powerhouse in exporting agricultural products in the world, but this country also has a very high demand in importing of fresh fruits and vegetables.
This is an opportunity for Vietnamese agricultural export enterprises to explore this potential market, which has annual import turnover reaching billions of US$. In 2020, Thailand imported more than US$ 2.6 billion of fresh and processed vegetables.
Lychee and dragon fruit are among many kinds of fruits of Vietnam that Thailand cannot compete with. Many Thai businesses import dragon fruit and lychee from Vietnam to sell in large supermarket systems. In addition, Thai enterprises also import raw agricultural products for processing.
Currently, products such as seafood, vegetables, cashew nuts, coffee, pepper, and many kinds of fresh fruit... of Vietnam are also being favored by Thai consumers.
Understanding the need to import agricultural products from Thailand, in recent years, a number of large supermarket chains in Vietnam have taken opportunities to bring Vietnamese agricultural products to this market through different channels.
MM Mega Maket Vietnam and Big C in Thailand are both owned by Thailand's TCC Group. Taking advantage of that, in the first quarter of 2018, MM Mega Maket Vietnam exported more than 100 tons of Vietnamese agricultural products for the first order, including yellow sweet potato, purple sweet potato, dragon fruit, dried fruit, rice paper... for consumption at 700 Big C supermarkets in Thailand. Since then, MM Mega Maket Vietnam has regularly exported a variety of Vietnamese agricultural products to the Big C system in Thailand and has maintained steadily in this market.
Central Retail Vietnam is one of the retail systems exporting Vietnamese goods, including agricultural products, to the Thai market. Since 2016 until now, Central Group (Thailand) and Central Retail Vietnam (members of Central Group) have continuously coordinated with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam to organize the annual event "Vietnamese Goods Week in Thailand" at Central World.
At this event, many Vietnamese agricultural products and foods were introduced to Thai consumers such as dragon fruit, coffee, cashews, pepper, macadamia nuts, etc. In which, there are deep processed products of strong brands in Vietnam such as dried fruit of Vinamit, tea and coffee of King Coffee, instant noodles of Vifon, etc.
Mr. Paul Le, Vice President of Central Retail Vietnam, said that at this annual event, Ceantral Retail always selects and brings to Thailand the best agricultural products and foods from Vietnam to introduce to Thai consumers. Many Vietnamese agricultural products and foods have conquered a large number of consumers at the "Vietnamese Goods Week in Thailand". For example, Nam Dinh beef noodle soup (“pho” in Vietnamese), which is considered the representative of Vietnamese pho, is cooked and sold by the chefs of Central Retail Vietnam at the "Vietnamese Goods Week in Thailand". Pho is enjoyed by many people, with a consumption of 600 bowls each day.
According to some trade experts, in order for Vietnamese products, including agricultural products, to be accepted widely in Thai market, Vietnamese businesses need to implement basic strategies such as improving product quality. Product quality must be good, suitable with local flavor but also must keep the original character.
In addition, product packaging needs to be designed delicately, beautifully, and convey a message so that anyone can recognize Vietnamese product just by looking at the packaging and design.
It is worthy to note about the product capacity and volume, especially in the beginning period for consumers can buy small package to try, giving them time to get acquainted with Vietnamese products./.