In 2019, all categories of consumer healthcare saw strong value growth in Vietnam, as consumers throughout the country not only became more aware of the various products available to them and conscious of their benefits, but also had more income with which to purchase them due to Vietnam’s very strong and growing economy. Most major categories exhibited double-digit growth over the year, and only a few categories, for example sleep aids, saw slower growth than in the previous year.
Vitamins and dietary supplements is the largest consumer healthcare category in Vietnam, and within that category OCT and herbal/traditional dietary supplements have been seeing the most change due to the government’s attempt to exercise better control over the sourcing, advertising and food safety practices relating to these products’ production. The Ministry of Health is applying stricter regulations governing dietary supplements due to the proliferation of counterfeit and substandard products being advertised and sold in many channels, especially by internet retailers.
International companies such as Abbott, Herbalife, GSK Healthcare and Sanofi-Aventis hold most leading positions in consumer healthcare and particularly OTC, based on their high brand recognition, wide distribution and strong relationships with Vietnam’s major distribution channels. However, two domestic companies stand out among the top 10 consumer healthcare players in Vietnam, where the competitive landscape is highly fragmented and becoming increasingly competitive for both existing and new players.
Distribution of consumer healthcare is widespread and growing in Vietnam’s strong economy. The majority of OTC drugs from major international players are sold in chemists/pharmacies in urban areas, whereas herbal/traditional products, the larger category, is available in chemists/pharmacies, direct selling and drugstores/parapharmacies throughout the country as they are the most highly demanded by Vietnamese of all income and educational levels in urban, suburban and rural areas.
Over the forecast period, very little improvement in Vietnam’s air pollution problem, ongoing and possibly worsening heat and humidity exacerbated by global warming, unabated demand for remedies to relieve stress-related headaches, digestive problems and sleep disorders and rising interest in health-enhancing products such as herbal/traditional dietary supplements should result in stronger value growth for consumer healthcare in Vietnam. Coming from a lower base, and in line with the latest health and wellness trends, sports nutrition and weight management products will again see the highest growth and consumers will continue to opt for herbal/traditional products over synthetic ones.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Health market research database.