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Foreigners active in food and beverage startups

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An American sells roast meat, others sell high-end chocolate, and a Singaporean sells frog porridge.

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The owner of Lion City Harry Ang


Many foreign investment funds have poured money into the F&B (food & beverage0 sector as well.

Lion City Restaurant in HCM City, for example, is run by Singaporean owner Harry Ang, who has been living in Vietnam for 17 years. The workers at the restaurant said the boss, who was trained as an architect, knows how to communicate well with customers.

Ang says the country has high potential for restaurant chains, especially in HCM City, which is considered a ‘small ASEAN’ and the ‘crossroads’ of different cuisines.

He said the opportunities are great as more Vietnamese have demand for quality food bearing local characteristics in a modern space and with quality service.

Meanwhile, Tim Scott and Mark Gustafson from the US run a grilled pork rib restaurant and sell craft beer.  

Their Ut Ut and BigCraft restaurants have been prospering as they attract young customers. The fifth restaurant of the chain will open in June and the number of shops is expected to increase to 10 by the end of the year.

Vincent Mourou-Rochebois, a French-American, said some people called him and Samuel Maruta, of France, ‘crazy men’ when they decided to make Marou chocolate. The people said Vietnamese like milk and tea, not chocolate.

However, they bet on chocolate because they could see the great potential and the country’s large cocoa growing area. They believed the most important thing was to have good raw materials.

In 2011, they moved ahead with the plan to make bean-to-bar chocolate, the first of its kind in Vietnam. Four years later, they launched the high-end chocolate brand Marou and put Vietnam on the world’s chocolate map.

An analyst said that Vietnam, like many other markets, is now being exposed to many food trends from all over the globe. 

Many foreign investment funds have invested in the F&B sector and foreign brands are seeking franchise contracts in Vietnam.

Mekong Capital, for example, in 2008, poured VND2.6 billion into Golden Gate. In 2016, the Mekong Enterprise Fund III invested $6.9 million, or VND150 billion, into the company which owns the Wrap & Roll chain.




Source: VietNamNet

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