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The evolution of food consumption

Figuié M., Bricas N.. 2003. In : Moustier Paule (ed.), Dao Thê Anh (ed.). Food markets and agricultural development in Vietnam. Hanoi : MALICA, p. 36-47.

Over the past ten years, the value of the Vietnamese food market has doubled. This growth is the result of three factors: the increase in the population; the increase in the quantities consumed per person; and the reduction in self-consumption of households, especially rural households. The Vietnamese food market, evaluated at 7.2 billion dollars in 2002. National consumption for all food products has grown, except for root vegetables and tubers (cassava, sweet potato, etc.). Consumption of rice per person is failing. Differences are appearing depending on the region or zone, urban or rural. The income level also leads to differences. The richest do not only eat more, they eat differently. As their incomes increase, households consume more rice to the detriment of tubers; they then reduce their rice consumption in favour of other cereals such as wheat. This increase in consumption is in part satisfied by recourse to imports (the case of wheat, milk and, to a lesser extent, oils and fats). The transformations of the Vietnamese agricultural and food processing sectors in order to satisfy this demand are eyed with suspicion by the consumers, shaken by regular revelations in the press of cases of food poisoning. The evolutions in consumption have contributed to reducing malnutrition. However, socalled "diseases of excess" are appearing (obesity, cardiovascular diseases, etc.) and urban consumers associate certain products, such as animal fats or meat, to a negative dietetic image. Finally, new food behaviours are appearing in urban areas: the development of supermarkets and, in particular, of street-food and restaurants, which represents an important factor from both an economic and nutritional point of view.

Mots-clés : consommation alimentaire; enquête auprès des consommateurs; produit alimentaire; marché; zone urbaine; zone rurale; santé; céréale; riz; blé; produit laitier; corps gras; viande; viet nam

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