Vietnam’s G.C Food Company aims to increase its aloe vera exports to large Asian markets like Korea and Japan, and compete aggressively with its Thai counterparts to penetrate into new markets. Nguyen Van Thu, Chairman of G.C Food, also popularly labelled as ‘Mr Aloe Vera’, aims to capture 15-20% share of the South Korean and Japanese markets in the next 3 years.
Currently, G.C Food has a market share of 8% in South Korea and 9% in Japan. Thailand is the largest supplier of aloe vera products to the 2 markets with an estimated share of 40%.
According to Thu, Thai firms have more modern technology and are marginally better in terms of product diversification. Due to economies of scale and better development of supporting industries, especially packaging, their prices are 10-15% lower than that of Vietnamese products.
However, Vietnamese aloe vera processors can compete with its Thai rivals in terms of quality.
G.C Food plans to expand its aloe vera growing area to 500 hectares by 2025 and increase output to 40,000-45,000 tons of finished products a year.
It also plans to launch more new products from aloe vera such as drinking water and cosmetics. Thu added, “Vietnamese agricultural products benefit greatly from preferential tax rates thanks to free trade agreements with South Korea and Japan, while Thailand does not.” As such, now is a good time to capture bigger market shares in these countries.
Japan and South Korea consume a variety of drinks, milk and other foods containing aloe vera. South Korea itself exports aloe vera beverages to North America and Europe. As such, it needs an average of 30,000 tonnes of products a year. The demand in Japan is for 15,000 tonnes.
G.C Food is a leading aloe vera producer in Vietnam with an annual output of 12,000 to 15,000 tonnes with presence in 20 countries. G.C Food is also the only company in Vietnam to sell products to big brands such as OKF, the world’s leading aloe vera juice producer; Lotte, the fifth largest, and Morinaga, Japan’s 2nd largest dairy firm.
G.C Food plans to enter new markets in the Middle East, China and Europe. Eastern Europe is expected to account for 15 to 20% of its total revenues starting this year.
In 2022, G.C Food recorded Dong 433 billion (US$18.5 million) in sales and this is expected to double by 2025.