Product differentiation helps businesses in HCMC increase exports

(VOVWORLD) - The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many Vietnamese enterprises to halt production or go bankrupt. But a number have been able to redefine their market and differentiate their products to increase their competitiveness and reach new export markets. By taking this approach some businesses in Ho Chi Minh City have landed export orders through the end of this year and into the first quarter of next year.

Product differentiation helps businesses in HCMC increase exports - ảnh 1 MEET MORE workers are packaging fruit-flavored instant coffee (Photo: VOV)

While their competitors are struggling to find orders, MEET MORE Company, which sells instant coffee, has export orders through the end of the year.

Every month, MEET MORE exports 5 containers of fruit-flavored  coffee to Italy. A business in Italy wants an exclusive contracts to distribute large quantities of MEET MORE products to 27 European countries.

In the past, it has been difficult for Vietnamese instant coffee to enter the European market, which strictly controls the milk content in instant coffee.

MEET MORE has successfully cracked the market by differentiating its products by combining coffee with fresh fruits like coconut, mango, and mint, and leaving out the milk.

Nguyen Ngoc Luan, MEET MORE’s CEO, said European consumers like theỉ products very much because the ingredients are fresh Vietnamese fruits.

“I didn’t think European consumers would change their buying habits so fast. They used to like Chinese products, but since the COVID-19 outbreak they’ve turned to our products, which are made with fresh fruit of high quality. In the future, we’ll focus on expanding production and improving our quality management because so far there are no companies producing similar products,” said Luan.

Product differentiation helps businesses in HCMC increase exports - ảnh 2

A favorite model of bamboo products of Thien Minh Trading and Import-Export Company has been exported to Europe.

Wood processors in Ho Chi Minh City have found niche markets in Europe. The Thien Minh Trading and Import-Export Company, for example, has orders from Europe through  next April, thanks to e-commerce and targeting middle income customers.

Tran Lam Son, Thien Minh’s Director, said the company’s products are well regarded by the market because they are handmade by skilled Vietnamese workers and are competitively priced.

According to Son, Thien Minh main worry now is keeping up with the delivery schedule, adding, “We’re worried we won’t have enough empty containers in November, December, and early next year to deliver orders on time. I hope the state will streamline customs procedures to allow quick loading of containers or allow our products to be declared in green flow to avoid being held up.”

According to the Ho Chi Minh City Business Association, many exporters in the wood and farm produce processing industries have orders through the fourth quarter. The wood processing industry has seen double-digit growth in the last few months.

Chu Tien Dung, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Business Association, says the Association is stepping up digital trade promotion programs and helping businesses increase exports to the EU under the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.

“The city administration is establishing work teams and a board  for sector development to streamline administrative procedures and improve coordination between the city government and businesses,” said Dung.