Currently, as the demand for quality of life is increasingly on the rise, the issue of healthcare for the Vietnamese population is also gradually being emphasized. Alongside designing a balanced diet, many people also remember to provide themselves with various expensive health supplements to help maintain a healthy body. This has driven the motivation to turn the functional food sector into a potential market that people choose to invest in and explore.
However, not everything pursued in trends will necessarily lead to success. Therefore, in order to truly achieve success in this field in Vietnam, foreign businesses need to grasp essential knowledge and experience to ensure that wholesaling health supplements consistently yield effectiveness and significant achievements.
I. The Explosion of The Health Supplements Market in Vietnam
According to statistics from the Functional Food Association, the number of users of functional foods in Vietnam is continuously increasing, accounting for up to 1/5 of the population. The reason is due to the aging of the young population, rapid income growth, and the increasing level of health concerns among over 97 million people, particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Surveys conducted by this organization indicate that the functional food market in Vietnam is growing at a rate of 15% per year, and the percentage of domestic consumers who are aware of and use these products is over 60%. In 2021, the total scale of the health supplements industry in Vietnam reached 12 billion US dollars.
II. 5 Trends In The Use of Health Supplements for 2023
1) Health supplements improving mental health
2020 was a year filled with stress, as events that reshaped lives led to an increase in mental health issues and stress across all age groups. As a result, many turned to the use of functional foods to support Vietnamese mental well-being. In fact, a report from Coherent Market Insights has predicted that the market for functional foods supporting brain and mental health will grow by 8.5% over the next 6 years.
Furthermore, solutions derived from nature are also becoming increasingly popular as they can aid in addressing the body’s stress responses. Particularly, Indian ginseng and turmeric are herbal remedies that can help reduce anxiety, lower cortisol levels, and alleviate mild depressive symptoms.
2) Health supplements supporting beauty
The development of skincare and beauty care products has experienced significant growth in recent years. In fact, according to Google Ads statistics, searches related to collagen increased by 33% from March 2020 to December 2020, suggesting a rising interest in beauty products.
3) Supplements supporting Immune system
The COVID-19 pandemic has made us realize that health is invaluable. Consequently, the number of Vietnamese consumers seeking functional foods to support their immune system has increased by 50%. Components like zinc, selenium, B-group vitamins, vitamins C and D, as well as natural ingredients like turmeric, ginger, astragalus, and purple coneflower, have become more popular.
Moreover, some Vietnamese economic experts believe that extracts from mushrooms will also become a part of this trend. Notably, mushrooms like chaga, cordyceps, lion’s mane, and reishi have been utilized in traditional medicine to enhance immune capabilities. It’s crucial to note that while these foods can support immune health, no single nutritional support can prevent or treat illnesses.
4) Vitamin D
Vitamin D continues to lead the trend of health-supporting vitamins. Vitamin D plays a vital role in immune health, mental well-being, bone and teeth health, and protection against chronic diseases. Particularly, Vitamin D emerged as a leading trend in Vietnam in 2020 due to multiple studies suggesting that lower levels of Vitamin D could increase susceptibility to COVID-19 complications.
However, more research is needed to establish this connection conclusively. While the skin can produce Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, concerns about UV radiation and limited sunlight exposure based on latitude have led to increased consumption of Vitamin D from functional foods. By 2025, the Vitamin D consumption market is projected to grow by 7.2%
5) Creative functional foods
Vietnamese consumers over the past year have been seeking convenient and innovative experiences with functional foods, rather than traditional ones. Specifically, the use of vitamins in the form of gummy candies with suitable flavors for all age groups is continuing to develop and gain popularity. Additionally, consumers desire more diversity in functional food options.
For instance, collagen peptides continue to be used in forms such as powder, flavored drinks, capsules, and gummy candies. Functional foods are now considered a part of a healthy lifestyle, leading companies to be expected to create products that align with the needs and daily habits of everyone.
III. How To Find Wholesale Distributors for Your Supplement Brand
1) Google Search & Google Shopping
Google search has revolutionized how we access information, making it an indispensable tool for individuals and businesses alike. When searching for health supplement distributors in Vietnam, a few simple keywords can lead to a plethora of results, providing information about various companies, their product offerings, locations, and contact details. This enables businesses to showcase their products to a wide distributors in Vietnam.
- Step 1: Begin by determining the keywords that best describe the type of health supplement distributors you are looking for. These keywords might include phrases like “health supplements distributors Vietnam,” “nutritional supplements suppliers,” or specific keywords related to the type of supplements you are interested in, such as “vitamin distributors” or “protein powder distributors.
- Step 2: Browse through the search results to identify health supplement distributors in Vietnam. The results will include links to various distributors’ websites, online marketplaces, business directories, and relevant articles.
- Step 3: Click on the links to the distributors’ websites to learn more about their products, services, and contact information. Distributors’ websites often provide detailed descriptions of their product offerings, pricing, customer reviews, and other relevant information.
Engaging Google Shopping to uncover health supplement distributors in Vietnam holds a plethora of benefits for international businesses
- Enter Relevant Keywords: Input appropriate keywords of products such as “Zinc supplement ” or specific product names into the search bar.
- Review Search Results: Read the visually engaging product listings that match your search criteria. Each listing includes an image, description, price, and seller information.
- Explore Detailed Information: Click on a listing to access more detailed information, including a direct link to the seller’s website.
- Visit Sellers’ Websites: Navigate to their websites to gain deeper insights into their product offerings, services, and contact details. Most importantly, see if they import products from brands themselves or buy from other wholesalers. Check those wholesalers out since they may be who you are looking for.
2) Leverage LinkedIn
LinkedIn is not just another social media platform; it serves as an unparalleled network connecting professionals across various industries. Distinct from conventional platforms, LinkedIn focuses on nurturing meaningful business relationships and collaborations. When applied to the health supplements industry, LinkedIn’s multifaceted features offer a unique and unparalleled avenue for identifying and engaging with health supplement distributors in Vietnam.
- Profile Optimization: Create or optimize your LinkedIn profile, ensuring accurate information regarding your role, background, and interests in the health supplements industry.
- Advanced Search: Utilize LinkedIn’s advanced search function to input keywords such as “health supplements Vietnam” to see all possible results. They can be people or jobs or companies in the industry. Then you can work from these leads.
- Profile Evaluation: Thoroughly review the profiles of individuals employed within health supplement distribution companies. Assess their roles, affiliations, endorsements, and connections.
- Industry Insights: Evaluate individuals’ activity and engagement within the health supplements industry. Note their involvement in groups, discussions, and articles related to health and wellness.
- Strategic Connections: Send personalized connection requests to relevant individuals, expressing your interest in the health supplements sector and your eagerness to explore potential collaborations.
3) Facebook Ads
There are two avenues to explore when using Facebook ads to discover distributors:
Firstly, you can initiate and manage ad campaigns targeted at individuals involved in purchasing, procurement, and sourcing. Within these ads, you can effectively showcase your health supplement products and outline the benefits they offer to importers and distributors. It’s crucial to include your contact details and incorporate a clear call to action that prompts interested parties to reach out to you.
Besides, in the context of Vietnam, a multitude of small and medium-sized distributors have recently ventured into affiliations with one or two international brands. Their main objective revolves around establishing their own retail networks. Employing Facebook ads, they aim to attract retailers and local independent shops to collaborate in the nationwide distribution of products. Thus, by following these ads, you can identify potential distributors. Subsequently, take the initiative to search for their official website and contact details.
IV. You Need A Strong Branding To Sell In Vietnam
You should invest into your reputation if you want to sell your products either to distributors or end-consumers.
1. Run Facebook ads
The most used platform for online advertising today in Vietnam is Facebook. The average Vietnamese spends 4 hours and 30 minutes per day surfing Facebook. Therefore, online advertising is extremely effective.
- Increase brand awareness.
- The cost is quite economical compared to other traditional forms of advertising.
- Reach a large number of customers.
- A high degree of automation.
- Reach the right customers. Ads on Facebook are run based on algorithms. Ads will be displayed on the newsfeed of users who have searched for health-related products.
- Facebook ads analytics helps you analyze customer behavior and psychology. For example, they often click to see articles with many images. Or at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, ads usually have the highest viewership.
To optimize online advertising and attract customers to buy dietary supplements, you can hire professionals who specialize in online marketing. They have the ability to analyze engagement and understand what content will attract customers. This results in higher conversions and more effective advertising.
2. Build a Facebook page
From the perspective of a customer, he/she will definitely trust a supplement store with a fan page with higher interaction and reviews than ones without any information online.
A Facebook fan page will be a way for you to promote your products for free. When you have a fan page, customers can also contact you more easily.
Fan page with many good reviews will help your store to be more reputable.
How to get a lot of followers for your fan page
- Regular activities
Regular activities include post updates and customer feedback. To be able to appear on the customer feed, you must post regularly. Regularly posting also shows that your fan page is active.
- Provide useful health-related information
Fan page is a page for you to update and post your products. However, don’t just focus on posting products. The interspersed content about healthcare or the use of nutrients will help customers trust the seller’s expertise as well as understand the importance of buying health supplements. From there, their desire to buy will also increase.
One of the ways to make your fan page look always “crowded” is to use the seeding method. Seeding is understood as the activity of commenting and liking the posts you have posted so that the article has more interaction and can reach more potential customers.
Seeding can help supplement stores increase brand awareness and create crowd effects to help customers feel more comfortable to ask questions as well as to buy products.
3. Have a store on Shopee and Lazada e-commerce platforms
E-commerce is the best sales channel today with super FREE TRAFFIC for those just starting to sell, but with food supplements, you must have a license and other papers to sell. With this channel, Shop has to compete fiercely in many aspects such as:
- Shop response speed
- Review 5*
- SEO keywords: Title, description
- Incoming traffic: From other channels
- Favorite shop
- Shopee Mall
- The shop’s discount program is for customers only
- Participate in the events of the platform: 11/11, Christmas, Tet,….
This channel is super competitive. If you are a foreign brand without much experience, it is difficult to do business on this site. However, it is crucial to have a store on these popular e-commerce platforms since once you have managed to have many customers and reviews, sales will come organically and regularly thanks to huge traffic on the platforms every day.
4. Utilize Zalo
We will use Zalo to take care of 2 types of targets: retail and wholesale customers
- Wholesale customers: Build a sales support group to provide regularly interesting brand/ product information as well as special promotions for wholesalers.
- Retail customers: Get customers’ phone numbers from the fan page then add their Zalo to sell and maintain relationships with them. Do you know that Zalo has a higher interaction rate as well as conversion rate than Facebook?
5. Have a beautiful Website
This channel is almost independent of any other platform, where you can display all of your products and information in the way you want. Health-related products need a lot of trust from customers; therefore, brands must own a professionally designed website with useful health information in the Vietnamese language.
Brands must use the Livechat function of Fanpage to navigate customers to Facebook Messenger in case they have questions that need to be answered immediately. Usually, supplement buyers need a lot of consultation from the brand, so if you attach a Facebook chatbot to your website, customers can directly chat with the Fan page.
Besides, if you want to have free traffic to your website, you must put your website on the top 1 of Google (SEO – Search Engine Optimization).
6. Cooperate with KOLs
KOLs (key opinion leaders) are people with domain knowledge in a certain field. They are influential people who are followed and trusted by many people. In the field of health, KOLs can be doctors, nutritionists, or fitness trainers.
Benefits of partnering with KOLs:
- Create trust with customers
KOLs cooperation is the most suitable for products aimed at young people. Usually, Vietnamese all have the mentality of trusting “real people with real things” more than advertising. Especially for young people, KOLs even have more voice.
- Reach the right customers
Partnering with KOL will help you connect with the correct audience. Because most followers belong to a group of people with similar interests. For example, you cooperate with KOL in the field of health. All of their followers are also health-conscious people.
- Make your customers curious and want to learn more about your products
When a person with knowledge in the field you’re interested in recommends a product, you will surely be curious about that product. The same mentality applies to your customers. Get your brand introduced to consumers by KOLs, which will help capture the curiosity and interest of potential consumers. From there, increasing the search volume and attracting customers to buy functional foods is not difficult. 7.3.
Choose the right KOL
When partnering with a KOL, they represent your brand. Therefore, it is extremely necessary to look into their profile before cooperating. The KOLs have a voice in the health field and their followers must coincide with your target audience.
For supplement foods, the credibility and decency of KOL is very important. If the KOL makes a negative impression on the audience, your products will also be heavily affected.
7. Release TVC
One of the best ways to affirm the best product quality is television advertising. Television is the main information channel of the state. Therefore, products, especially products such as drugs and supplment foods, must meet quality standards before advertising can be broadcast. When your supplement TVC is released on television, it means that your product also receives trust from the audience. The habit of watching TV is also a common habit of Vietnamese people, especially for the elderly who often worry about their health.
On Social media
Besides advertising on television, today TVC is also advertised on social networking platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, etc. Compared to televisions, social networks are much more cost-effective. This form is more suitable for young and middle-aged people.
Building trust and online reputation is even more important for health-related products. Usually, foreign brands have the advantage of being more trustworthy than local brands when it comes to this type of product. However, since the market is getting more and more competitive with different foreign brands coming from Japan, Korea, Australia, and Europe…; and customers have been familiar with certain brands that came to Vietnam much earlier, it takes a smart marketing strategy to be able to stand out and gain trust when you are totally new to the market.