There have been significant transformations in Vietnam’s health supplement (also known as dietary foods or functional foods) sector over the past two decades. Whilst in 2000, there were only 63 products and 13 manufacturers, in 2017 there were 4,190 manufacturers nationwide with about 10,930 products. More than 90% of pharmacies nationwide are selling food supplement. This number in urban area is virtually 100%.

In 2016, Hau Giang Pharmaceticals JSC, the industry leader, recorded a decline in the proportion of revenue from pharmaceuticals from 68.9% to 65.6% but the revenue from functional foods increased sharply from 6.3% to 10.2%. In 2017, functional foods brought in VND 379 billion in revenue for Hau Giang Pharmaceuticals (9% of total revenue).

Traphaco JSC, among other industry leaders, has been distributing of functional food products of Natural Factors from Canada. The Company also manufactures lots of health supplement products under its own brands.

Besides pharmaceutical industry players, there are also new players from other industries that participate in the retail of health supplement products:

  • Digiworld: Kingsmen and PnKids products
  • VinGroup: Vinfa brand
  • FPT Retail: Long Chau pharmacy chain
  • Vinamilk: cooperates with Hau Giang Pharmaceuticals to conduct R&D, marketing and distribution of functional foods.

Modernization causes many health impacts from consumption of fast food and tobacco to drinking habits. As a consequence, there have been increases in diseases related to blood pressure, diabetes, obesity or cardiovascular diseases.

Disposable ncome improvement and health awareness are key growth dynamics of the health supplement industry.

Vietnamese people mainly buy health supplements in pharmacies (accounting for 65% of total purchases) where they can trust the quality of goods. Besides, the grey market is also quite developed and accounts for 22%.

According to a survey conducted by a newspaper, popular references of consumers in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi are recommendations of friends and family members (52%), followed by advice from doctors/ pharmacists (43%).

Major international players that are active in Vietnam’s health supplement industry include: Amway, Abbott Laboratories, Bayer, Glaxo SmithKline, and Nuskin.