Asahi - entering Vietnamese infant nutrition market through JV

Asahi - entering Vietnamese infant nutrition market through JV

Japanese beverage and infant nutrition group Asahi has entered the Vietnamese market after forging a joint venture with local firm Vietnam Nutrition Food JSC (NutiFood).

The joint venture - to be called Asahi-NutiFood - will market powdered milk and baby food products for local consumption.

The products, which will enter the Vietnamese market this year, will be sold under Asahi's existing Wakodo brand.

The businesses believe their offering will prove popular in Vietnam as Japanese products have a "high reputation" there.

Initially, the products, made under the advice of NutiFood experts to suit Vietnamese children, will be imported from Asahi's Japan-based factories.

NutiFood, in its turn, will utilise its wide distribution network to market the products in its home market.

Tran Thi Le, general director of the joint venture, was quoted in local media as saying it is committed to supporting the healthy growth and development of Vietnamese infants and children.

Asahi is best-known for its beer and soft drink brands. Outside beer and soft drinks, Asahi has interests in dairy and baby food. In 2014, Asahi struck a deal to buy a range of dairy assets in south-east Asia from Singapore-listed Etika International Holdings.

The company's move into baby food came in 2006, with the acquisition of a 50% stake in Japanese baby food manufacturer Wakodo and then buying the rest of the business a year later.