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After the pandemic, Gen Y and Gen Z have many changes in their eating habits, they choose F&B products ‘with high awareness’


The latest consumer research published by Vero and Decision Lab shows that more than 60% of consumers make healthy eating choices for better mental health, while more than 70% consider taking supplements. Vitamins and supplements are an integral part of the daily routine.

Recently, Vero and Decision Lab held an event to launch the research “Together with the same brand to embrace the changes in eating habits in Vietnam.” In this event, representatives of Vero, Decision Lab, KAMEREO, and Coach Hana Giang Anh discussed the topic of food and health in Vietnam.

Mr. Aske Østergård, CEO and Co-Founder at Decision Lab

Ms. Kelly Phan, Integrated Marketing Communications Manager at Vero said: “After the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnamese consumers are gradually paying more attention to food intake, as well as nutritional value. and the health benefits of the products we use”.

Vero and Decision Lab have tracked social media discussions and news on the topic for over four years, from 2018 to 2022. They surveyed 828 consumers in Vietnam in 2022 based on a set of 31 questions. The research can summarize the most authentic and objective information to help F&B brands connect more effectively with modern consumers.

Over 60% of consumers choose healthy eating for better mental health

In Vietnam, mental health had become an issue that received lots of attention even before the pandemic. Nearly 15% of Vietnam’s population suffers from depression or an anxiety disorder, especially with an increasing number of cases among young people.

In 2021, Vietnam was one of the countries implementing the strictest quarantine in the world. For three months, from June to September, people are requested to practice staying at home strictly. Online activity has also become more active. From 2020 to 2021, “loneliness” is one of the terms with the fastest increase in searches on Google, while “weight gain” continues to be the most searched concern.

Originating from the pandemic, consumers have realized that in addition to keeping the body healthy and fit. Another benefit that healthy eating habits provide is nurturing mental health. There has been lots of research proving that food can help improve people’s mood and overall health, and this has become one of the most hotly discussed topics among consumers.

According to the survey, up to 64.3% of Gen Z and 71.6% of Gen Y people said the main reason for changing their eating healthier is the long-term health benefits. In addition, more than 60% of consumers from both generations also agree that mental health is one of the big motivators for them to change their eating habits.

More than 70% of Vietnamese consumers add vitamins and functional foods to their daily routine.

The pandemic has accelerated the pace at which vitamins become an essential part of lifestyle and routine. The current habit of taking vitamin supplements is seen as a manifestation of “self-care.” In addition to regular exercise, nearly 50% of consumers use vitamins and supplements to build a healthier lifestyle. More than 23% of people surveyed said they take supplements daily or every 2-3 days.

However, for some people, cost and time are still barriers to change to healthy cooking at home.

Experts are no longer the only reliable source of reference for customers. Social media, friends, family, and influencers are increasingly trusted sources of information about healthy eating.

According to research, more than 50% of Vietnamese consumers search for information about healthy eating through social networks, more than 24% choose to follow influencers in the field, and more than 36% receive this information through friends and family.

In 2020, Vietnam was the third fastest growing country in Asia in terms of food spending. With the GDP index expected to start to increase sharply, the F&B industry will have huge room for growth. It is a potential business area, but there is also tough competition because more and more international brands are starting to approach Vietnam to research and launch products. Therefore, businesses need to take wide steps for better service to reach consumers’ needs and strengthen their position.

For Vietnamese consumers, more than 27% consider nutritional value and health benefits of food and drink to be the most important factors when choosing a product. In addition, a large part of Generation Z and Y consumers also said that they value transparency about the origin of food when viewing the list of main ingredients; Next comes information related to reducing stress, anxiety, or sleep problems.

To promote healthy F&B products to Generation Z, brands should offer easier, more convenient, and smaller-portion options for consuming products. They can create healthy breakfast products or snacks to serve Generation Z. As for Generation Y, the brand should have a clear message about the product’s health benefits and nutritional value,” Ms. Le Linh Dan – Senior Market Research Advisor at Decision Lab said.

“We find that consumers are more open to trying new brands. The reason comes from their desire to experience more, or appreciate the sustainability and quality of products,” Pham said. Hoai Anh – Media Strategic Planning Specialist at Vero said. As the holistic health care movement grows in Vietnam, consumers demand more and more understanding of healthy lifestyles.

For brands that are trading in food items that are mid-classified as “unhealthy” foods, brands can take advantage of information about the origin of ingredients, safety food factors and product sustainability to keep pace with the change in eating behavior of today’s consumers.

With the general development trend of the F&B industry, two factors that receive attention are: processing methods and input materials. Business owners can completely share about the source of ingredients they use. This is one of the ways that brands can gain better trust from customers.” Mr. Vu Tien Long, Business Development Manager at KAMEREO shared.

Speakers shared about Vietnamese people’s eating habits after the pandemic.

Ms. Kelly Phan also said that according to research, consumers are increasingly making efforts to pursue healthy eating habits. However, Gen Y and Gen Z believe that it is difficult for them to eat healthy around the holidays and friends gathering. When gathering with friends and family in a fun atmosphere, eating healthy is a huge challenge and not a priority for them. Only by eating alone can they be more concentrated on their goals and take their healthy diet seriously.

There are many ways that brands can go further by creating products that support a healthy lifestyle or add value to simple meals. Helping consumers make better choices about eating, exercising, and preparing food will be key for brands to engage deeply with customers.

Source: CafeBiz

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