Beer sale drops badly in Tet
Beer is often a best seller during Tet but many retailers have been forced to lower their prices to encourage customers to buy.
Sales of beer have dropped dramatically after the Government's announced a crackdown on drink drivers.
Nguyen Van Dinh, owner of a shop selling imported wine and beer in Hang Huong Alley, Hoan Kiem District in Ha Noi told Viet Nam News: “This time last year, I did not have enough beer to sell. This year, I just sit here waiting for orders.”
To encourage customers, Dinh knocks off VND15,000 for every 24 pack of Saigon Special, offering at VND285,000.
But despite reducing the prices, Dinh has not seen as many customers as he hoped. He estimates a 70 per cent drop compared to previous holiday seasons.
He says: “Last Tet, I sold more than VND1billion worth of beer and wine. This year, I estimate to get about VND300 million maximum.”
Other retailers in the busy streets of To Hieu, Hoang Hoa Tham and Thai Ha experienced the same issues and have reduced the prices of some cases of beer by up to VND15,000.
Nguyen Thi Nga, a shop owner in Hoang Hoa Tham Street said: “Instead, many consumers buy imported, light alcohol and local apricot wine.”
As an e-buyer on the site bachhoaxanh.com, Hoang Tuyet Loan from Go Vap District, HCM City even buys cases of Saigon Special for just VND239,000 - an 80 per cent drop on normal prices.
Loan tells Viet Nam News: “Less people buy beer. So they must reduce the prices.”
Since January, 1, any caught driving under the influence of alcohol on a motorbike can be fined VND8 million ($345) and banned for two years.
Car and truck drivers face VND40 million fines and immediate licence suspension.
As of January 17, traffic police have stopped 6,279 drink drivers and collected more than VND21 billion in fines.
None of the biggest brewers like Sabeco, Habeco, Heineken and Carlsberg have commented on the new law, but many supermarkets have said sales dropped between 25 and 30 per cent.
According to the Viet Nam Beer Alcohol Beverage Association, Vietnamese people consumed 4.6 billion litres of beer last year, a 10 per cent growth from 2018.