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Vietnam’s Interesting OTC, Phyto and Food Supplement Product Segments

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Vietnam represents a tremendous opportunity for foreign healthcare companies with its promising emerging OTC and pharma market. This article aims to highlight the most interesting self-medication segments in Vietnam that may be a good match for your business expansion plan.  

The Vietnamese OTC market is expected to reach a valuation of USD 6,76 billion in 2035, with the following most important segments: cough and cold (C&C); vitamins, minerals, and supplements (VMS); gastrointestinal products; dermatology products; analgesics. 

Cough & Cold Is The Most Dominant Driver of Vietnam’s OTC Market  

This segment has held the largest revenue share in the market and will likely maintain its position in the upcoming years. Being one of the most important manufacturing hubs for different industries in the world, the deteriorating air quality in Vietnam has become the cause of frequent cough and cold symptoms in the population. Aside from local companies with traditional remedies for cough and cold diseases, the market has also witnessed the success of international players (especially Germany and other European countries) such as Prospan with almost 4 million packs sold per year.  

Figure: Prospan Product Portfolio in Vietnam 

Substantial Growth in the Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements (VMS) Segment

Along with the improvement in quality of life, health consciousness has risen in the Vietnamese population. Thus, increasing the demand for high-quality health supplements and nutrients–especially from the youth and middle-aged groups, who are looking for products to improve and maintain their health. 

Highlights of the VMS Segment in Vietnam:

  • The Vietnamese population consume dietary supplements to improve their appearance, as well as sexual, and overall health 
  • The majority prefer supplements with natural origins, as Vietnamese consumers strongly believe that phyto and herbal products are good for their health. 
  • The product claims used for food supplments are often similar to those of drugs. 
  • As aforementioned, Vietnamese consumers prefer OTC, FS and cosmetics brands from Europe.

The Important Skin Care and Dermatological Segment

The Vietnamese beauty and cosmetics market is considered to be young and the most dynamic in the Asia region. The Vietnam skin care product market is expected to reach USD 2 billion by 2027. Of which, approximately 90% are imported from foreign brands (Shiseido, L’Oreal, Esteé Lauder, etc.) 

There are several driving factors for this growing segment:

  • The growing trend of self-care among the Vietnamese youth has given the desire to look young and beautiful more importance, encouraging them to invest more in skin care products recommended by social media influencers.  
  • The popularity of international retail chains (e.g., Watsons, Guardian) and distributors (e.g., Unilever, P&G) has offered Vietnamese consumers a big variety of product options with affordable pricing levels.  
  • Vietnamese women, as the primary consumer target group, are increasingly financially independent, which has allowed them to be exposed to more high-end products 

Most of the Vietnamese OTC segments are dominated by imported products, opening up the opportunity for international players to participate. This is the right time for your company to expand its business scope beyond your home country. However, kindly note that choosing the right local partner is the most crucial key to a successful launch. With more than 25 years of experience in emerging markets especially Vietnam, Chameleon Pharma Consulting Group can support you in identifying your perfect match! 

Feature picture: Photo by Silver Ringvee on Unsplash 

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