Mar 07, 2020 / 06:45

Health continues to be No.1 worry of Vietnamese consumers

The Hanoitimes - In the last quarter of 2019, Vietnam continued to be placed in the top three most optimistic countries.and had the most avid savers,

Health continued to be the biggest concern of Vietnamese consumers in the last quarter of 2019 for three consecutive quarters, according to the latest the Conference Board Global Consumer Confidence Survey in collaboration with Nielsen, a global measurement company.

After hitting record level across the 10 year history of this survey in quarter 3 (Q3), concerns about Health among Vietnamese consumers remained the highest globally with 45% of respondents confirming it.
“While this feedback came before the Covid-19 outbreak, we see an increasing interest in health, and desire to take action to prevent illness. The trend towards natural products without artificial ingredients is an indicator of this,” said Louise Hawley, managing director, Nielsen Vietnam.

Still in the Top 3, while the levels of concern around Job security remained stable, the concern over Work-life balance increased slightly to 27%. Other key areas of focus for Vietnamese consumers were the Economy and Increasing utility bills which remained at the same levels as the previous quarter.

Noticeably, the end quarter of 2019 witnessed the appearance of a new factor in the top six concerns of Vietnamese consumers: Increasing food prices, with 10% of respondents indicating that they’re worried about it. An example of this has been the price of pork, as a result of African swine fever that has hit the pork industry and resulting in increasing prices. 


Vietnam - the third most confident country globally

The survey indicated that in the last quarter of 2019, Vietnam continued to be placed in the top three most optimistic countries. It was ranked third globally for having the most positive consumers with Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) of 125 percentage points (ppts) after India (138pp) and the Philippines (133pp).

Compared to Q3, Vietnam’s CCI score decreased slightly by three points. However, Vietnam’s overall confidence level as 2019 concluded was still high, well above the global and region’s average (107 pp and 116 pp respectively).


Globally, countries also witnessed a downward trend. Out of 64 markets surveyed, 30 of them (14 emerging and 16 mature) saw a decline in consumer confidence. This is a modest improvement from last quarter, when 33 markets saw a decline (14 emerging and 19 mature).

Although Vietnamese consumers tend to be ready to spend more in this quarter, they were less positive about their job prospects and felt more insecure about their finances. That was also the key reasons behind the decrease trend of CCI in Q4.

“This concern around financial security is to be expected, coming just ahead of the Tet holiday which requires significant spend to stock up on food and drinks, and concern around year-end bonuses,” said Louise Hawley.


Vietnamese consumers remain the most avid savers globally

Despite a significant slowdown in global economic growth, consumers were key in preventing the economy from slipping into a global recession in 2019. Strong labor markets, rising wages, and low consumer price inflation have supported consumer spending.

In Q4, Vietnam continued to place first in the global for having the most avid savers (73%, +4% vs Q3 2019), followed by Hong Kong (70%), China (67%) and India (64%).

In addition, Vietnamese consumers tend to spend more in the last months of the year. Vietnamese are willing to spend more on big-ticket items such as New clothes, Out-of-home entertainment, Home improvements/decorating and New tech products.

“The Tet period represents the biggest season for spending, on groceries but also other goods and services. In a category like soft drinks, 20% of annual consumption comes during Tet, and sales uplift 35% compared with the pre-Tet period”.

Together with a big concern on Health, Vietnam was the country with the highest proportion of people saying that their spare money goes for Paying medical insurance premiums globally with a significant increase of five ppts to 40%.