Vietnamese shoppers exhibit greater caution when making purchases when compared to global consumers: GfK

22 November 2013, HO CHI MINH – Some consumers do not put much into the thought process when making a purchase, but this is apparently not the case for the Vietnamese. A survey by GfK Roper indicated that people from this country are generally more careful when buying things, as compared to the average global consumer as they go through the process of actively seeking out product information, reading the details on the label, before eventually making their purchase decision.

More than half (55%) the respondents from Vietnam claimed that they spend quite a lot of time researching brands—12 percent higher than the global average. On top of this, more than three-fifths (62%) said they always read the product label before buying— compared to just 41 percent globally. Where and how a product is made is important to me is also a statement agreed on by nearly seven out of ten (68%) in Vietnam—almost twice as much as the global average which stood at 35 percent.

GfK polled over 40,000 consumers aged 15+ across 28 countries, including 11 from Asia Pacific – Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the latest additions of Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. Approximately 1,500 respondents per market were surveyed on their attitudes, behaviors and values across a range of topics.

“Vietnamese tend to be more careful, especially in the area of food safety after a series of health scares which took place earlier this year,” commented Van Tran Khoa, Managing Director of GfK in Vietnam. “Relative to other countries, people in Vietnam seem to be showing higher levels of anxiety towards issues related to health and security.”

For instance, three-quarters (75%) of the Vietnamese respondents expressed that they are always concerned about their safety and security. When it comes to food safety, a high level of 76 percent said they worry about how safe the food they buy is, and worry about contaminated food and drinks. These findings are much higher than global average of 58 and 36 percent respectively.

Also relating to health, another interesting insight revealed that there is a high consensus level, among 90 percent, who said they are interested in food and drinks that have proven medical/health benefits. This is significantly higher by 29 percent when compared with the global average who shared the same sentiments.

Furthermore, the brand of a product also has a higher impact on consumers’ purchase decisions in this part of the world. Consumers here tend to be more brand conscious, with more than three-fifths (63%) saying they buy only from a trusted brand. A similar level (60%) is in agreement that it is better to buy well-known brands because they can rely on the quality.

“The survey has shed some important insights on the cautious attitude of many Vietnamese and how it affects their consumption behavior and choices,” said Van. “For those in marketing and product innovation, it is important to understand these unique aspects of a market in order to succeed, especially in high growth markets such as Vietnam” he concluded.

The consumer insights detailed in this article are drawn from in-depth analysis of GfK’s largest, longest-standing and most robust consumer trends study in the world – Roper Reports® Worldwide. The latest survey was conducted in Jan-Feb 2013.

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