Vietnam Emerges as One of the Biggest Beer Markets in the Region

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Aug. 31 – Vietnam is the second largest beer market in the Southeast Asian region with 1.6 billion liters consumed last year after Cambodia.

The market is forecast to expand by 5.6 percent in the following years trailing behind Laos and Cambodia, reports market research company Euromonitor International.

As an indication of the country’s investment potential, Hanoi Beer Alcohol and Beverage Joint Stock Corp. inaugurated one of the largest modern beer breweries in the region, the Hanoi-Me Linh Brewery in Tien Phong Commune, Me Linh Dist in Hanoi this month.

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The brewery was worth VND2.2 trillion to develop on more than 26 hectares. It will have the capacity to produce 220 million liters annually.

Foreign investors are coming in to take advantage of Vietnam’s burgeoning beer market. VBL Danang Ltd., a joint venture between Singapore-listed Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd. (APB) and state-owned SATRA Group, recently opened a new factory in central Vietnam with the capacity to produce  50,000 bottles of Larue brand beer per hour.

“Vietnam… is one of the largest beer markets in Asia Pacific and of the highest growth potential,” Christopher Kidd, regional director of APB, said in a statement. The joint venture has committed to investing US$100 million dollars to grow bottling capacity in the country in the next 18 months.

Major beer brands like Sapporo, Budweiser, San Miguel and Fosters have also made inroads into the country. Vietnam has a strong beer culture where it is a common sight to see people drinking the local brew called “bia hoi” at makeshift street bars.