In 2020, free from dairy milk continued to generate high growth and the largest share of free from value sales. Free from packaged food are essential food types for people who are allergic.
An increase in unemployment and reduction in disposable incomes since the pandemic is expected to lead to diminished consumer spending on products considered non-essential in 2021. However, although free from packaged food products tend to carry higher prices than regular alternatives, the more essential nature of these products for people with food intolerance means the category is likely to be less affected than other types of health and wellness packaged food products.
In 2020, free from dairy milk continued to generate high growth and the largest share of free from value sales. Soy milk is highly familiar to most Vietnamese consumers while other categories such as free from lactose or free from meat are considered specific foods for niche consumers such as vegetarians or allergic people.
Although Vietnamese consumers are becoming more knowledgeable about free from options, there was still relatively little awareness of, or demand for free from lactose and free from gluten packaged food in the country in 2020. Demand for such products is still largely confined to those suffering from lactose and gluten allergies or intolerances; thus, value sales remained negligible.
Thanks to the improvement in education, especially in urban areas, Vietnamese consumers are generally more knowledgeable about the health benefits of consuming free from packaged food. There has also been a growing trend towards seeking natural, plant-based food, driven by government and health ministries’ efforts to promote more consumption of domestically grown, high-fibre fruit and vegetables and foregoing too much reliance on meat and seafood for nutrition.
Modern grocery retailers tended to be preferred over the traditional counterparts for free from packaged food products during 2020 thanks to their wider range of products available. Consumers wanted to avoid shopping as much as possible during the height of the pandemic, therefore only visited stores where they could be assured of finding the products they needed.
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This report originates from Passport, our Food Intolerance research and analysis database.
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