There is plenty of room for the soymilk industry to develop as over 1.5 million litres of soymilk are consumed in Vietnam everyday, only 32% of which are canned, the Thoi Bao Kinh te Vietnam (Economic Times) reported, citing statistics of market researching company Nielsen.
More than half of the soymilk sold in the market is hand-made by locals while industrially produced milk has yet to meet consumer demand and investment in the field remains modest.
According to the newspaper, the NutiFood company, the Hoang Anh Gia Lai group and the Institute of Agricultural Science for Southern Vietnam (IAS) signed an agreement on September 29 to create soybean growing areas to supply material for large-scale soymilk production.
CEO of Hoang Anh Gia Lai Doan Nguyen Duc said his group will entrust 1,000 hectares of land to NutiFood and scientists to study the development of organic soybean material. The land fund will be increased to 5,000 hectares in the next five years.
This is the first time a Vietnamese business has a plan to produce soymilk from organic material, he said.
According to NutiFood CEO Tran Thanh Hai, imported soybeans are less expensive than those locally-produced, but NutiFood has chosen domestic varieties to ensure quality. The seeds used in the soybean material development project are produced by the IAS, he noted.
Director of the IAS Tran Thanh Hung said large-scale farming and mechanisation are key to reducing soybean production cost.
NutiFood and Hoang Anh Gia Lai are carrying out the soybean material development project in the Central Highlands. If successful, the pair will partner to produce soymilk.
The Vietnam Soya Products Company (Vinasoy) is the largest soymilk producer in the country at present with over 80% of the soymilk output produced industrially nationwide. It is operating two manufacturing plants in central Quang Ngai and northern Bac Ninh provinces. By the end of this year, it will kick start construction of a third plant in southern Binh Duong province.
Last year, Vinasoy grossed VND3.1 trillion (US$139.5 million) in revenue, a year-on-year rise of 49%.