In 2021, food and drink e-commerce sales continued to grow as the threat of COVID-19 continued to fuel consumers’ desire to limit their visits to physical grocers or avoid going altogether. Also, grocery items took precedence over non-grocery products in the year, as the financial uncertainty of the pandemic caused many consumers to focus on essentials only, thus propelling food and drink e-commerce’s performance further.
There is a growing number of small- and medium-sized players focusing on the niche clean-label and organic food and drink segment. Due to their small scale, these players tend to sell through social media channels such as Facebook.
Key industry players, such as Vietnam Dairy Products JSC (Vinamilk), Saigon Union of Trading Cooperatives and Mobile World JSC, employ the common strategy of operating in both offline and online channels. These retailers have an extensive network of grocery stores, which are also in charge of stocking and delivering goods when customers place an order via their websites.
Over the forecast period, while the skyrocketing growth rates of the review period are set to soften, food and drink e-commerce is expected to keep increasing its sales percentage of total e-commerce in Vietnam. This is based on the fact that players and manufacturers in food and drink categories have started to see e-commerce as one of the critical channels for increasing their sales as well as to strengthen their brands.
Despite being projected to make further gains, the value share of food and drink e-commerce is likely to remain low compared with other areas of e-commerce, such as apparel and footwear as well as consumer electronics. This is because many consumers have yet to become familiarised with the concept of purchasing groceries online and freshness is an important feature of many food and drink products, meaning that consumers do not want to wait for products to be delivered.
Soft drinks are likely to remain the biggest contributors to the channel’s performance in the forecast period, even though all types of food and drink e-commerce are predicted to grow strongly. Consumers usually know the product or brand of soft drink they want to buy, which makes the online buying process easy and convenient.
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Internet retailing sales of food and drink (all packaged and fresh food and drink (hot drinks, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks).See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Food and Drink E-Commerce research and analysis database.
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