Inflation makes Vietnamese consumer more price sensitive: Nielsen

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High inflation has forced Vietnamese consumers to change their shopping behavior and become even more price-sensitive, a new Nielsen study has found.

According to the latest edition of the Nielsen Shopper Trends Study released on Tuesday, Vietnamese have become the most likely to seek promotions as they adjust to rising everyday costs.

The study noted that Vietnamese began to feel less optimistic about their personal finances and future prospects in the first quarter of 2011, causing consumer confidence to dip five points to stand at 98 on the Nielsen index.

Inflation accelerated 20.82 percent in June from a year earlier, the fastest pace since November 2008, according to official statistics.

"Sixty percent of Vietnamese consumers in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi claim that their household purchasing power has been reduced due to rising prices," Nielsen said, adding that consumers are cutting back on spending for dining and leisure traveling.

The study also found that Vietnamese have reduced the number of shops visited and bought more on promotions than earlier. Consumers are moving to relatively bigger pack sizes for frequently-used categories, such as laundry, shampoo and fish sauce, it said.

"Inflation and devaluations of the dong have had a very tangible effect on the average Vietnamese shopper, and is prompting them to change their behavior as they seek out value," said Darin Williams, Managing Director, Nielsen Vietnam.

He said stores and brands that find the right combination of convenience, value and quality will be better able to "ride out this challenging environment."

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