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Trung Nguyen’s G7 Instant Coffee celebrates ninth birthday

From the November 2012 issue.

Trung Nguyen G7 instant coffee celebrationsTrung Nguyen Group celebrated the ninth anniversary of its G7 instant coffee on 23 November in a public event at Reunification Palace, Ho Chi Minh City.

Trung Nguyen's G7 instant coffee holds a leading position in the Vietnamese market, with a 38 per cent market share, according to Neilson data. The celebrations in Ho Chi Ming City marked nine years since the then unknown Vietnamese brand – G7 – directly challenged the world's leading instant coffee brand – Nestlé – in a blind test.

G7 won over Vietnamese drinkers with 89 per cent of votes, with Nestlé's Nescafé taking just 11 per cent. Trung Nguyen Group noted in a statement that within the last nine years, G7 has become the leading brand in the Vietnam’s instant coffee market in terms of market-share, sales revenue, and sales volume.

"This is [an example] of 'David' against 'Goliath'," Trung Nguyen noted in the statement. The success of G7 coffee was the topic of an associated workshop entitled 'Creativity in the market battlefield', which assembled leading Vietnamese experts in brand-building, media and entrepreneurship. Participants discussed examples of Vietnamese brands winning over global ones in the domestic market, including Vinamilk and FPT.

In 2011, data showed that G7 3-in-1 led the market with 38 per cent market share  and 35 per cent in terms of sales volume in Vietnam’s instant (3-in-1) market in the first quarter of 2012.

 

"Currently, G7 3-in-1 is dominating the market, and with this momentum, it is predicted that G7 3in1 will further remain its top position in Vietnam," Trung Nguyen noted. 

Trung Nguyen G7 instant coffeeThe name is inspired by the international body known as G7, consisting of the seven finance ministers from the world's richest countries, representing more than 50 per cent of global GDP. 

"I chose the name G7 because I thought somehow there must be a Vietnamese brand that could win at least the group of seven most developed, wealthy, and powerful countries in the world," said Dang Le Nguyen Vu, Chairman of Trung Nguyen, in a statement. "Vietnamese are naturally xenophilous, considering anything from overseas qualified. Thus, if our product is recognised by the G7, then our fellow-citizens shall respond.” 

The case study of G7 has been used in lectures in many Vietnamese and international famous universities. Trung Nguyen Group noted that the key has been to create first a superior product, secondly to use a creative approach and the leader’s strong belief in his fellows, and a high-degree determination of the whole team, and thirdly to generate awareness and supports from smart and patriotic consumers.

Recently, in an interview with Reuters in Switzerland, Vu said that Trung Nguyen was ready for the race-track into Western markets, discussing “responsible creativity for harmony and sustainable development”.     

"We are like grasshoppers fighting giant elephants. In regards of techniques, marketing, etc. Nestlé is much beyond us,” Vu told Reuters. “For the Vietnamese, because Vietnam used to apply the closed-door policy for a very long time, they preferred foreign brands to local ones. Thus, to win this battle, we must strive for more.”

Trung Nguyen currently exports to 60 different countries around the world and is planning expansion into the United States market next year. The company is hoping to convert the ratio between domestic consumption and export to 30:70. Trung Nguyen is also looking to take advantage of increasing demand of coffee in traditional tea-drinking markets in Asia. Vu would like to see Vietnam's domestic consumption increase to 5 kilograms per capita per year, like Brazil, up from the current 1 kilogram per capita.    

“We are running our factories at 110 per cent of their designed capacities, but we still cannot meet the demand of the Chinese market,” said Vu. “Our ambition is to become a global brand.”

 

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