Vietnamese consumers drank an average of 22 litres of beer per capita per year in 2008, falling just behind the average beer consumption in Thailand among Southeast Asian nations, according to the Viet Nam Association of Beer and Alcoholic Beverages vice chairman, Nguyen Van Hung.
Hung also announced a festival of Vietnamese drinks would take place in Ha Noi on September 25-27.
Meanwhile, Business Monitor International Ltd, a global business consultancy, has called beer sales the primary driver for the alcoholic beverages industry, accounting for almost 98 per cent of sales in 2008, in a report on the Viet Nam food and beverage industry in the first quarter of this year.
Beer sales were likely to grow 48.6 per cent during 2008-13, the report predicted, due to substantial investment by both local players and expansion-oriented multinational competitors, including Carlsberg, Heineken, Tiger and San Miguel, and announced plans by US brewer Anheuser-Busch to introduce its flagship Budweiser brand on the Vietnamese market.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has reported that, during 2005-08, some VND27.2 trillion (US$1.53 billion) was invested overall in beverage production, with 55.8 per cent going into breweries, 36.7 per cent into soft-drink bottlers and just 6.06 per cent into production of alcohol and spirits.
The country’s leading brewer, the Sai Gon Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Corporation (Sabeco), which commands nearly 35 per cent of national beer sales, was increasing production in order to reach an output of a billion litres per year by 2010, up from 933 million litres in 2008. With 15 per cent of national market share, the Ha Noi Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Corporation (Habeco), planned to double its output in 2010, from 370 million litres in 2008.
According to the ministry, the beverage industry is growing an average of 20 per cent annually and is responsible for 21 per cent of the total production value of the nation’s food and beverage industry and 4.56 per cent of overall industrial production value.