Heinz sees Vietnam as "exciting growth opportunity"

Heinz sees Vietnam as "exciting growth opportunity"

US food giant Heinz has launched two more sauce products in Vietnam, a market the group has highlighted as one of a clutch of key new emerging markets.

Heinz has introduced Heinz Chilli Sauce and Heinz Big Red Tomato Sauce into Vietnam, Chris Warmoth, executive vice president for Heinz's business in Asia-Pacific, confirmed to just-food today (9 September).

The company, which launched its Heinz Ketchup brand in Vietnam on a limited basis last year, is shipping the new products from its business in Indonesia.

Warmoth claimed Heinz already enjoyed "strong brand awareness" in Vietnam, a market that the company believed was an "exciting growth opportunity".

"Vietnam has a growing population of almost 90m people, its GDP is growing, the middle class is expanding and consumers there seem responsive to innovative products that deliver value and convenience," Warmoth said. "Importantly, the Vietnamese like sauces, which is one of our core capabilities at Heinz."

Speaking to analysts yesterday at the Barclays Back-to-School Conference, Warmoth highlighted Vietnam, the Philippines, Turkey and Brazil as potential new markets for its burgeoning emerging-market business.

Brazil, one of the key BRIC emerging markets - alongside Russia, India and China - often cited by business leaders and commentators, is already a key market for the likes of Nestle and Kraft Foods.

Last month, Nestle revealed Brazil was its largest market in the developing world, with sales of CHF4bn. Kraft also told just-food last month that Brazil was its biggest emerging market.

Warmoth admitted Heinz only had a "limited" presence in Brazil but added: "Our Latin American business is growing and we see Brazil as an excellent growth opportunity going forward."

Emerging markets accounted for 15% of Heinz's sales from continuing operations in its last fiscal year, equating to around US$1.6bn.

The company has set a target for emerging markets to make up 20% of its sales in fiscal 2013 and 25% in fiscal 2016.