Wide door opened for export Startups to the US market

VCN - A large number of Vietnamese diaspora, especially in the US, clears the path for Vietnamese enterprises to increase exports in this market, especially Vietnamese cuisine.
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Many Vietnamese products are on the shelf of America supermarkets. Photo: TL
Many Vietnamese products are on the shelf of America supermarkets. Photo: TL

Vietnamese specialty exports to America

Mr. Nguyen Duc Nhat Thuan, Founder of Ca Men brand, said that since the corporation contract with LNS International Corporation in June 2023, 3 containers of Ca Men's snakehead fish porridge have been officially exported to the US with the total quantity of nearly 150,000 packages, achieving revenue of nearly 5 billion VND. Besides, thanks to the official export channels to the US, Ca Men are able to connect with trading partners in targeted markets such as Canada, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand. As for LNS, thanks to the effect of Ca Men's products in the US market, the two sides are also promoting to sign new potential markets such as Japan and Europe.

To achieve this result, Ca Men has linked with cooperatives by consuming agricultural products such as snakehead fish, eel, rice, pepper, chili powder, spring rolls, and fish sauce. More than 50 farmers have been employed with stable monthly income from cooperating with Ca Men. Mr. Nguyen Duc Nhat Thuan sets a goal that that number will be many times larger in the near future.

Date back to the starting point, Mr. Thuan said, every step was done manually. Thanks to cooperation with LNS, Ca Men was supported with production lines, machinery and technology. Currently, this startup is still making efforts to ensure the package standards of products without transforming the product flavor, so that overseas Vietnamese expatriates can find the original taste and memories of childhood when enjoying the Ca Men products

Meanwhile, what motivated Le Duy Toan, CEO of Duy Anh Foods Food Import-Export Co., Ltd. to start a business was the image of bags of rice paper labeled "Product of Thailand" sold in supermarkets in the US. After 4 years of studying abroad in the US, Le Duy Toan returned to his hometown, the famous traditional rice paper making village of Phu Hoa Dong (Cu Chi, Ho Chi Minh City) and founded Duy Anh Foods with the desire to create a new image for homeland products.

After many times of testing, improving processes, and perfecting products, up to now this company's products have been exported to 48 countries. Sharing about the "golden key" to achieving current success, Le Duy Toan said: "In addition to constant product qualification innovations, products must suit the taste of consumers in different markets, so "good reputation spreads everywhere".

Different from the story of Ca Men and Duy Anh Foods, Ms. Nguyen Thi Kim Huyen (Jolie Nguyen), President of LNS International Corporation, which does not directly produce Vietnamese specialties but is also very familiar to the Vietnamese business community in the role of a bridge for Vietnamese goods to reach the US market and many international markets. LNS prioritizes the development of specialty products and strengths from Vietnam, especially Vietnamese agricultural products, which are rich in tradition as well as meeting purely natural and innocuous; herbal medicine, which are safe for users' health.

Currently, LNS products are sold in more than 1,000 supermarkets and food store chains with 42 trucks running across state lines each week, bringing Vietnamese products closer to consumers in the US, especially the Vietnamese and Asian community. Accordingly, in just the past year, LNS has brought more than 300 typical Vietnamese products to the US. Currently, in addition to its headquarters in the US, LNS has offices in key countries such as Europe (Italy), Australia (New Zealand), and Japan, opening up opportunities for Vietnamese products to reach out to these markets.

Improve many factors to seize opportunities

According to economic expert Huynh Phuoc Nghia, all startups are currently facing extremely difficult circumstances, particularly in gaining new access to new markets. These shifting flows have opened up opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises' products to access the world market. Besides, businesses also have opportunities from creativity based on market needs. Next, the opportunity also lies in the product value chain and brand building capacity.

Ms. Jolie Nguyen shared that there are currently about 7 million Vietnamese people living abroad, of which, in the US alone, there are more than 3 million Vietnamese. Meanwhile, Vietnamese expatriates in the US always want to use homeland products. In the US, there are currently many distribution channels for Vietnamese goods such as markets, supermarkets, and e-commerce platforms such as Amazon or Sayweee, which are presquisites for the entrance of Vietnamese goods to this market.

However, besides that, there are also many difficulties. Firstly, long geographical distance hinders the penetration in terms of time, transportation costs and product preservation. Second, unattractive packaging which is not and suitable with foreign markets, requires enterprises invest in packaging. In detail, Packaging must have full information about nutritional ingredients, and display information must be translated depending on each market and give information warning on products…

Besides, Vietnamese products have to compete with products from many other countries, especially countries protected by the US. Therefore, businesses need to invest in machinery and factories, and always learn to develop product quality. "The product must be good to retain customers," Ms. Jolie Nguyen emphasized.

Ms. Jolie Nguyen also noted that the consumption of Vietnamese products abroad depends largely on the media in Vietnam. Overseas customers also "catch the trend" of hot products in domestic market. "In order to satisfy customer’s demands, products are managed to be exported at all costs such as (hand-carried, via unofficial routes), as long as it reaches customers. However, that is wrong thinking. Enterprises must follow the official path, providing quality products that meet requirements, so as not to lose their reputation abroad."

At the recent meeting between Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and Ms. Andrea Allbright, Executive Vice President, in charge of purchasing department of Walmart Group in San Francisco, USA, Ms. Andrea Allbright said: Vietnam belongs to 5 leading exporting countries to global Walmart system ... In the coming time, the Group's strategy is to focus on building Vietnam to become Asia Regional Goods Supply Center. Currently, Walmart has purchased billions of dollars of goods from Vietnam each year, but is still focusing largely on items such as textiles, footwear, food, etc. In the coming time, Walmart will focus on expanding its operations. Purchasing activities include household items, electrical and electronic equipment, toys of all kinds...

By Nguyen Hien/ Thu Phuong

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