Vietnamese Have Special Taste Preferences, “Localization” is Needed to Consider by Foreign Brands


In recent years, Vietnam's middle class has grown rapidly, people's living standards have improved, and consequently, the consumption has increasingly surged. Besides, the willingness to expose to new things such as new food culture, facilitating the development of fast-food market in Vietnam. According to market research data, fast food chains in Vietnam have doubled in four years, from 700 stores in 2017 to 1,400 stores in 2021. Fast food restaurants are not only located in big cities, but are also rapidly expanding to rural areas, and become popular among Vietnamese consumers. In this research, i-Buzz Asia shows you the analysis of "Vietnamese Consumer in Fast Food Market" to help you understand what local consumer preferences are for fast food before entering the local market.


Vietnamese pay attention to promotional advertising - Vietnamese’s fast food preferences are different from other countries.


The topics discussed by Vietnam fast food consumers are divided into nine key dimensions including marketing & advertising, preferences, context, food types, ingredients, beverages, services, flavors, and prices. As i-Buzz Asia data, marketing & advertising, preferences and context are the most discussed dimensions. See that, Vietnamese are easily attracted by promotions and discounts, thus fast food restaurants can take advantage of this point to attract consumers. In terms of preferences, Vietnamese food flavors are quite different from other Southeast Asian countries. By that, Vietnamese like fresh and not oily flavor, which becomes a challenge for fast food brands.




Vietnamese love pizza, cheese - Coffee is their favorite drink.


As i-Buzz Asia data, pizza is Vietnamese’s favorite fast food, followed by burgers and fried chicken. It is explained that flour, a pizza’s main ingredient and also a familiar ingredient to Vietnamese, is attracted to many Vietnamese eating pizzas. Besides, the crispy and soft pizza crust, full of cheese, and seasoned with tomato sauce and hot sauce, have become the favorite of Vietnamese consumers. While Taiwanese often order pizza and take it away for friend gatherings and special festivals, pizza restaurants in Vietnam become an ideal place for gathering, dating and birthday celebration.  


In terms of ingredients, cheese is the most discussed ingredient. Vietnamese like eating many cheese-related foods such as cheese pizza, cheese steak, cheese sausage, cheese bread and other delicacies full of cheese such as cheese sticks, cheese balls, cheese cakes, cheese puddings, cheese milk tea. In terms of “beverages” eating with fast food, Vietnam has a coffee-drinking culture, coffee becomes the most popular drink, followed by soft drinks such as Coca Cola and Pepsi.




fast food has become a high-priced food in Vietnam, and promotions always attract consumers effectively.


There are mainly foreign brands in the Vietnamese fast food market such as McDonald's, Lotteria, KFC, Jollibee. Even though fast food is considered cheap food in foreign countries, it become high-priced food in Vietnam. For example, a fast-food set meal includes hamburgers, French fries, and Coca Cola at McDonald's in Vietnam. This set meal’s price is VND 89,000 (about TWD 114), which is worth the price of two lunches in Vietnam, making consumers hesitate when purchasing. Consequently, fast food is considered to be “expensive” for many Vietnamese consumers in terms of price.


See that Vietnamese seem to be price-sensitive, thus they pay more attention to promotions and discounts. For marketing & advertising, Vietnamese are easily attracted to promotion-related keywords such as offers, events, coupons, promotions, and discounts. Fast food brands also often celebrate lucky draws, combo meal upgrades, or flash sales and other marketing activities to attract consumers’ attention. During the pandemic, The Pizza Company brand launched an event of pizza buy 1 get 1 and gifted an alcohol sanitizer, obtaining many netizens’ discussions. Texas Chicken has also previously launched a special offer - buying a fried chicken set meal will have a chance to get four movie tickets. These advertising campaigns are effective to obtain consumers’ attention and stimulate consumers’ purchasing decisions.




Vietnamese prefer refreshing - Too sweet is a consumer’s pain point.


i-Buzz Asia uses correlation analysis technology to analyze the degree of correlation between the pain points of fast food consumption in Vietnam, as a reference index for brands to improve fast food products. The taste of too sweet has a high correlation with fast food. Vietnamese people prefer "natural and refreshing" tastes, which also affects the taste for fast food. Most fast food is fried food, which tastes sweet, salty and oily, which conflicts with refreshing taste and becomes a pain point for Vietnamese consumers. Therefore, understanding Vietnamese’s fast food preferences is a challenge and also a chance for fast food brands to show how well they understand Vietnamese consumers.



In conclusion, there are three key points from i-Buzz Asia’s consumer preference analysis in the Vietnamese fast food market that fast food brands should take into consideration:


1. Fast food is "expensive” for Vietnamese, and promotions can effectively attract the local consumers.

2. Vietnamese people prefer fresh and natural tastes, which is a challenge to fast food brands.

3. Vietnamese people are more appreciated the dining environment and atmosphere in fast food restaurants, which is considered an ideal place for gathering and dating.


The Vietnamese fast food market is nonstop developing and is considered a very potential market. However, Vietnamese like refreshing taste and their food flavor is also different from other Southeast Asian countries. Therefore, “localizing” fast food flavors to meet Vietnamese consumer needs is necessary for international fast food brands when entering the Vietnamese fast food market. In addition, Vietnamese consumers are intended to be price-sensitive, consequently timely promotions, discounts, and other promotional events can attract Vietnamese consumers’ attention and increase fast food consumption.