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Top 10 Imported Food Brands in Vietnam

As the Vietnamese economy continues to develop, consumers are becoming more sophisticated and seeking out a wider range of food options from around the world. This has created opportunities for foreign food brands to enter the Vietnamese market and capture a share of this growing demand. With a population of over 97 million people and a rapidly expanding middle class, Vietnam is a key market for many international food companies looking to expand their global reach. In this article, we present top 10 imported food brands that are running businesses in Vietnam.

1. Nestle 

Nestle is a Swiss multinational food and beverage company founded in 1866 by Henri Nestle. The company began as a producer of infant food and has since expanded to various food categories, including coffee, chocolate, dairy products, and pet food. Today, Nestle is one of the largest food and beverage companies in the world, operating in more than 190 countries with over 2,000 brands.

Having been operating in Vietnam for a long time, Nestle establishes a strong brand presence and reputation in the country. The company offers a wide range of products in Vietnam, including Nescafe coffee, Maggi seasoning sauce and instant noodles, KitKat chocolate bars, Milo chocolate malt drink, and Nestle yogurt. These products have become household names in Vietnam and are well-loved by Vietnamese consumers because of their irreplaceable favors and reasonable prices.

Besides, Nestle has invested in numerous marketing and advertising campaigns in Vietnam to promote their products, which has helped them to reach a wider audience and increase brand awareness. For instance, in 2018, Nestle’s Milo brand launched a marketing campaign in Vietnam, called “Champions made of Milo”. The campaign featured TV commercials, billboards, and social media content, promoting the benefits of Milo for physical and mental energy, and encouraging Vietnamese children to pursue their dreams and become champions in their own way.

Poster in the campaign “Champions made of Milo”

2. PepsiCo

PepsiCo is an American multinational food and beverage company that was founded in 1965 through the merger of Pepsi-Cola and Frito-Lay. Today, the company has expanded to include a wide range of food and beverage brands, including Pepsi, Lay’s, Gatorade, Quaker Oats, Tropicana, and Doritos, among others.

In Vietnam, PepsiCo has a significant presence with a variety of popular food products. Some of the most popular PepsiCo products in Vietnam include Lay’s potato chips, Tropicana juices, Quaker Oats cereals, Gatorade sports drinks, and Lipton tea. Pepsi is also a popular carbonated beverage in Vietnam and is often served alongside Coca-Cola.

PepsiCo’s focus on innovation and sustainability has helped it to continue to grow in Vietnam and other markets around the world. The company has made significant investments in research and development to create new and better-for-you products, while also working to reduce its environmental impact through sustainable sourcing, water conservation, and packaging innovations. 

When it comes to marketing campaigns, PepsiCo has used a variety of creative content and platforms to connect with Vietnamese consumers and promote their products. One of the most successful campaigns of Pepsico’s brands in Vietnam is Lay’s Crispy Subtitles. The campaign aimed to target Vietnamese consumers who enjoy snacking while watching movies and TV shows, and to promote Lay’s chips as the perfect snack for such occasions. By creating a series of short videos featuring popular Vietnamese celebrities and influencers, such as KOLs Linh Ngoc Dam and PewPew, the campaign’s videos showed the celebrities snacking on Lay’s chips while watching their favorite shows, with humorous subtitles added to highlight the crispiness of the chips.

The MV Lay’s Crispy Substitle of the campaign

3. Cargill

Cargill is a multinational corporation based in the United States that is involved in the production and trading of agricultural commodities, including grain, oilseeds, and livestock. The company was founded in 1865 and has since grown to become one of the largest privately-held companies in the world, with operations in more than 70 countries. In Vietnam, Cargill has a strong presence in the food industry and is involved in the production and distribution of a variety of products.

One of Cargill’s popular food products in Vietnam is chocolate. The company produces chocolate under its brand Wilbur, which is used by many Vietnamese bakeries and pastry shops. Cargill also produces vegetable oil, which is used in many restaurants and food processing facilities throughout Vietnam.

In addition to its food products, Cargill has also been involved in a number of sustainability and social responsibility initiatives in Vietnam. The company has worked to support local farmers and communities, and has implemented a number of programs to improve the sustainability of its operations. For example, Cargill has partnered with local organizations to provide training and resources to smallholder farmers in Vietnam, helping them to improve their yields and increase their income.

4. Unilever

Unilever is a British-Dutch multinational consumer goods company that was founded in 1929 through the merger of two soap and margarine companies. Today, the company produces a wide range of consumer goods, including food, beverages, personal care products, and cleaning agents. Some of the company’s most well-known brands include Axe, Dove, Lipton, Knorr, and Hellmann’s.

In Vietnam, Unilever is a major player in the food industry and produces a variety of popular products. Some of the most popular Unilever products in Vietnam include Lipton tea, Knorr instant noodles and seasoning sauces, Magnum and Cornetto ice cream, and Walls ice cream. Unilever also produces a range of cooking oils and margarine under the brand names of Knorr and Rama, respectively.

Unilever has a strong commitment to sustainability and social responsibility and has made significant investments in these areas in Vietnam. The company has worked to reduce its environmental impact by implementing sustainable sourcing practices, reducing packaging waste, and improving energy efficiency. Unilever also supports local communities through its “Unilever Sustainable Living Plan,” which aims to improve the health and well-being of 1 billion people worldwide by 2020.

In 2021, a brand of Unilever, which was Knorr, launched a marketing campaign featuring popular Vietnamese singer Truc Nhan and actress Thanh Thuy. The campaign aimed to promote Knorr’s new line of cooking sauces and to encourage Vietnamese consumers to try new recipes and flavors by showing the two celebrities creating delicious dishes with ease using Knorr’s sauces and emphasizing the convenience and versatility of the products.

The campaign of Knorr during Tet 2020

5. Mars

Mars is an American multinational food and confectionery company that was founded in 1911 by Frank C. Mars. Today, the company produces a wide range of products, including chocolate bars, pet food, and other food products. Some of the company’s most well-known brands include M&M’s, Snickers, Twix, Pedigree, and Uncle Ben’s.

In Vietnam, Mars has a significant presence with a variety of popular food products. Some of the most popular Mars products in Vietnam include M&M’s chocolates, Snickers and Twix chocolate bars, and Uncle Ben’s rice. The company’s pet food brands, including Pedigree and Whiskas, are also well-known in Vietnam. For instance, M&M candies are a beloved snack item in Vietnamese supermarkets, offering a tasty and colorful treat that consumers of all ages can enjoy. The packaging often features eye-catching graphics and bold colors to grab consumers’ attention. Thanks to their delicious taste, bright colors and fun marketing campaigns on social media, they are widely available in various supermarkets and convenience stores throughout the country. Recently, M&M’s Vietnam has launched a marketing campaign on Facebook called “Find the Crew”. The campaign featured a mobile AR game in which players enjoy finding hidden M&M candies in the surrounding area. The game is promoted through social media posts and billboards, and players were encouraged to share their progress and findings on social media using the hashtag #MMStimdongbon #Calangcungvui

Mars has also been involved in community development projects in Vietnam. The company has partnered with local organizations to support education and health programs, including initiatives to improve access to clean water and sanitation facilities. Mars has also supported disaster relief efforts in the country, including providing assistance following natural disasters such as typhoons and floods.

6. Mondelez International

Mondelez International is an American multinational confectionery, food, and beverage company that was formed in 2012 as a spin-off from Kraft Foods. The company is best known for producing iconic brands such as Cadbury, Milka, Oreo, and Toblerone.

In Vietnam, Mondelez International is a major player in the confectionery and snack industry, producing a wide range of popular products. Some of the most well-known Mondelez brands in Vietnam include Oreo cookies, Cadbury chocolates, Halls cough drops, and Trident gum. The company’s Tang powdered beverages are also popular in Vietnam.

This international cooperation has gained even more popularity in Vietnam due to its acquisition of the domestic brand Kinh Do in 2015. The acquisition of Kinh Do allowed Mondelez to expand its market share in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, while also providing opportunities for Kinh Do to grow and innovate under Mondelez’s global resources and expertise. 

During the Mid-Autumn Festival in 2021, also known as the Trung Thu festival, which is a traditional Vietnamese holiday celebrating the harvest season and family reunions, Mondelez Kinh Do launched a marketing campaign “Keep stories alive” featuring AI technologies. A lot of social media users joining this campaign was excited to share their old pictures of family gathering being renewed by AI technologies. Needless to say, the campaign has reached millions of people in Vietnam and made them engage with the brand more than ever before.

7. Danone

Danone is a French multinational food and beverage company that was founded in 1919 by Isaac Carasso. Today, the company produces a wide range of products, including dairy products, water, and baby food. Some of the company’s most well-known brands include Activia, Evian, and Aptamil.

In Vietnam, Danone has a significant presence with a variety of popular food products. Some of the most popular Danone products in Vietnam include the Actimel probiotic yogurt drink, Dumex baby formula, and Evian bottled water. The company’s Aqua brand of bottled water is also popular in Vietnam.

In 2019, Danone launched “Let Wellness Take Flight”  – a marketing campaign on diverse e-commerce platforms in Vietnam, particularly Shopee Mall, to promote its range of dairy products. Offering several deals to help consumers shop online in a convenient way, this campaign successfully leveraged the growing interest in health and wellness among Vietnamese consumers and showcased the brand’s commitment to promoting healthy living through its products.

8. Ajinomoto

Ajinomoto is a Japanese food and chemical corporation that was founded in 1909. The company produces a wide range of products, including seasonings, processed foods, and pharmaceuticals. The company’s name comes from its main product, monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is known in Japanese as “aji no moto.”

In Vietnam, Ajinomoto is well-known for its MSG product, which is widely used as a seasoning in Vietnamese cuisine. The company also produces a variety of other food products in Vietnam, including frozen foods, instant noodles, and beverages.

For several years, this brand has continued to launch innovative and engaging campaigns during Tet, showcasing its commitment to tradition and family values while also appealing to modern consumers with creative and interactive social media content

One of the most notable campaigns was the “Vi ngon nhan doi” campaign in 2020, which aimed to promote the brand’s range of food products while celebrating the spirit of family and tradition during the holiday in different parts of the country. The campaign featured a series of TV commercials and social media content showcasing Ajinomoto’s products and how they can be used to prepare traditional Tet dishes such as banh chung and pickled vegetables.

9. McCormick & Company

McCormick & Company is an American multinational food company that was founded in 1889. The company produces and markets a wide range of spices, herbs, seasonings, and other food products. McCormick & Company has a presence in over 150 countries worldwide, including Vietnam.

In Vietnam, McCormick & Company is well-known for its range of spices and seasonings, including black pepper, cinnamon, and garlic powder. The company also produces a variety of other food products in Vietnam, including marinades and sauces.

One of the most notable marketing activities McCormick engages in is collaborating with popular restaurants and cafes in Vietnam to showcase its products and create unique dishes using its spices and seasoning blends. This not only helps to increase awareness of the McCormick brand but also allows consumers to experience the quality and flavor of McCormick’s products in a real-world setting.

10. Kellogg’s

Kellogg’s is an American multinational food company that was founded in 1906. The company produces and markets a wide range of breakfast cereals, snacks, and other food products. Kellogg’s has a presence in over 180 countries worldwide, including Vietnam.

In Vietnam, Kellogg’s is well-known for its range of breakfast cereals, including Corn Flakes, Special K, and Froot Loops. The company also produces a variety of other snack products in Vietnam, including Pringles chips and Nutri-Grain bars.

Kellogg’s also leverages social media to engage with consumers in Vietnam. The company has an active presence on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, where it shares recipes, cooking tips, and other content related to its products. In some Facebook groups, a lot of Vietnamese mothers share with each other their recipes and tips for cooking breakfast for their children using Kellog’s cereal products. 

Overall, these brands have recognized the potential of the Vietnamese market and have engaged in various marketing activities to increase their visibility and attract consumers. By understanding and appreciating Vietnamese cuisine and culture, any brands will be able to introduce their products successfully and create a strong brand presence in the country. However, global brands when tapping into the Vietnamese food market will need to prepare a lot and especially collaborate with local distributors.

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