Vietnamese remain beer-guzzling champs in ASEAN

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Hanoi beerEven Barack Obama couldn’t resist when he sat down for a $6-noodle soup at a street restaurant in Hanoi earlier this week, gulping down one Hanoi beer.

Beer is a staple in Vietnam, and this statement is supported by the fact that Vietnamese are the leading beer drinkers in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, and among the beer-thirstiest in entire Asia, if not the world.

The country’s young population – of which the majority is below 30 years of age – likes beer so much that even though a new “luxury tax” has been raised on beer, consumption in the past four months increased by nearly 6 per cent over the same period in 2015, reported the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

As a sober truth, breweries in Vietnam produced more than a billion liters of beer between January and April, and most of it was downed domestically. And this are just official production figures, not including the immensely popular bia hoi, which is brewed informally, sold at small street stands and not monitored by any agency.

Official beer production in Vietnam reached 3.4 billion liters last year, a 4.7 per cent increase over 2014. Including the 2015 figures, the Vietnamese brewery industry achieved an average of seven per cent in annual growth between 2011 and 2015, the Vietnam Beer Alcohol Beverage Association said. Vietnam currently imports just about three million liters of beer and exports 70 million liters per year.

Currently, there are around 130 licensed brewery production facilities across the country, many of which are large-scale plants with an annual capacity of 200 to 400 million liters, such as the Cu Chi Brewery Plant under Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage JSC (Sabeco), the Vietnam Brewery Plant in Ho Chi Minh City and the Me Linh Brewery Plant under Hanoi Beer-Alcohol-Beverage JSC (Habeco) in Hanoi.

Sabeco has a 46-per cent beer market share, and Habeco, 17.3 per cent, while 18.2 per cent is grabbed by Vietnam Brewery Limited, which produces and imports many products, including Heineken and Tiger. Total annual capacity of Vietnam’s local beer industry has to this point reached about 4.8 billion liters, which the Vietnam Beer Alcohol Beverage Association expects to be reach until 2020.

Both companies are majority state-owned, but in the process of being further privatised. Carlsberg Breweries already owns 17.23 per cent of Habeco and is seeking to raise its stakes to more than 30 per cent in the future. Other breweries interested in the highly profitable market are Thailand’s Boon Rawd Brewery (Singha beer), Thai Beverage (Chang beer), SABMiller (Fosters, Miller etc.), Anheuser Busch InBev (Budweiser, Corono etc.), Kirin Brewery and Asahi Breweries of Japan, as well as Heineken Asia Pacific (Heineken, Tiger).

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Even Barack Obama couldn’t resist when he sat down for a $6-noodle soup at a street restaurant in Hanoi earlier this week, gulping down one Hanoi beer.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Hanoi beerEven Barack Obama couldn’t resist when he sat down for a $6-noodle soup at a street restaurant in Hanoi earlier this week, gulping down one Hanoi beer.

Beer is a staple in Vietnam, and this statement is supported by the fact that Vietnamese are the leading beer drinkers in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, and among the beer-thirstiest in entire Asia, if not the world.

The country’s young population – of which the majority is below 30 years of age – likes beer so much that even though a new “luxury tax” has been raised on beer, consumption in the past four months increased by nearly 6 per cent over the same period in 2015, reported the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

As a sober truth, breweries in Vietnam produced more than a billion liters of beer between January and April, and most of it was downed domestically. And this are just official production figures, not including the immensely popular bia hoi, which is brewed informally, sold at small street stands and not monitored by any agency.

Official beer production in Vietnam reached 3.4 billion liters last year, a 4.7 per cent increase over 2014. Including the 2015 figures, the Vietnamese brewery industry achieved an average of seven per cent in annual growth between 2011 and 2015, the Vietnam Beer Alcohol Beverage Association said. Vietnam currently imports just about three million liters of beer and exports 70 million liters per year.

Currently, there are around 130 licensed brewery production facilities across the country, many of which are large-scale plants with an annual capacity of 200 to 400 million liters, such as the Cu Chi Brewery Plant under Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage JSC (Sabeco), the Vietnam Brewery Plant in Ho Chi Minh City and the Me Linh Brewery Plant under Hanoi Beer-Alcohol-Beverage JSC (Habeco) in Hanoi.

Sabeco has a 46-per cent beer market share, and Habeco, 17.3 per cent, while 18.2 per cent is grabbed by Vietnam Brewery Limited, which produces and imports many products, including Heineken and Tiger. Total annual capacity of Vietnam’s local beer industry has to this point reached about 4.8 billion liters, which the Vietnam Beer Alcohol Beverage Association expects to be reach until 2020.

Both companies are majority state-owned, but in the process of being further privatised. Carlsberg Breweries already owns 17.23 per cent of Habeco and is seeking to raise its stakes to more than 30 per cent in the future. Other breweries interested in the highly profitable market are Thailand’s Boon Rawd Brewery (Singha beer), Thai Beverage (Chang beer), SABMiller (Fosters, Miller etc.), Anheuser Busch InBev (Budweiser, Corono etc.), Kirin Brewery and Asahi Breweries of Japan, as well as Heineken Asia Pacific (Heineken, Tiger).

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