Local businesses have yet to tap the potential of the children's toy and healthcare market, according to experts.
With improved incomes and more than 1 million babies born every year, Vietnam is a promising market for this segment.
According to a survey recently conducted by Nkind Service and Trading JSC, total revenue from products, educational and entertainment services and health care for children aged 0-12 was 5.2 billion USD a year in recent years.
Of that amount, products and services accounted for more than 3 billion USD, including 1.2 billion USD for milk and nutrition products. Other products such as toys, clothes and diapers accounted for 1.1 billion USD. Entertainment services totalled 700 million USD a year.
Foreign brands still dominate the market for products such as cradles, cribs, baby walkers, strollers and feeding tools.
There are 80 foreign brands for powdered baby milk, accounting for 75 percent of market share.
At Binh Tay and Tan Dinh markets, for example, many baby feeding bottles, nipples and mugs on sale are imported from Thailand, Taiwan, France, the US, the Republic of Korea, Japan and Germany.
Most foreign brands have eye-catching designs and use high technology.
For the toy segment, Chinese toys dominate with 80 percent market share. For the baby toy segment, there are almost no domestic brands, with foreign brands such as Lamaze and Lalaloopsy dominating.
Reputable toymakers in Vietnam include only six brands: Cho Lon Plastics, Duc Thanh Wood, Nam Hoa, Alpha, Thanh Loc, An Loc Phu.
Vi Thi Thu Nhi, Director of Duc Viet Co., which owns Nanakids, said there were few high-quality products for children. Nanakids has six stores and still cannot satisfy demand.
Chinese rivals and fake and imitation products are the biggest obstacles to local producers' success in this market segment.
Consumers still prefer products that are safe and have a quality stamp with an international brand.
Tran Ngoc Dung, Executive Director of the FTA market research company, said its survey showed that domestic consumers were more aware of reports about hazardous substances in imported toys, thus opening opportunities for domestic businesses in this segment.
Chiang Jiun Shiong Kenny, Managing Director of Bornrich Company Ltd., said that domestic manufacturers have been urged to take part in major exhibitions to access potential customers.
For the first time in Vietnam, a children and family expo will be held on January 17-18 at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre by Born Rich Ltd. Co. in collaboration with Oriental Destinations Co.
It is expected to attract 150 booths and 50,000-100,000 visitors.