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Vietnamese People Grow More Nuanced, Just Like Their Drinks

Vietnamese People have always been nuanced with different kinds of drinks- soda, bubble tea and many more

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Vietnamese who used to drink coffee or cola now have far more beverage options to choose from. VOA

To see how much the consumer has changed in Vietnam, look no further than what he drinks: soda or bubble tea. Vietnamese People have always been nuanced with different kinds of drinks.

Coca-Cola was one of the first foreign investors in Vietnam, selling in wartime and in a postwar period when many foreign companies stayed away amid a trade embargo.

These days it is not an American soft drink brand that has captured the imagination of Vietnamese drinkers, but bubble tea, brought in by a range of Asian companies, from Taiwan to Thailand. Bubble or boba tea, a sugary milk tea known for its tapioca balls, can come in endless flavors, such as strawberry, matcha, or cacao, and combined with balls of tapioca, jelly or sweet beans. The drink is decidedly more complex than soda, and increasingly, so too is the Vietnamese shopper.

This goes far beyond drinks. It used to be that foreign companies entered Vietnam to sell the basics: fast moving consumer goods, such as bags of instant noodles or paper towels. But as Vietnam moves toward a more consumption-based society, foreign investors are responding to a desire for a greater variety of products and services.

Vietnamese, drinks, fond, nuance, consumption
Businesses are working to meet the changing tastes of shoppers in Hue and across the rest of Vietnam. VOA

“[M]ore international brands are entering Vietnam than ever, thanks, in part, to the liberalization of Vietnam’s regulatory and social environment,” Colliers International Research, a real estate services company, wrote in its first quarter analysis of the Vietnam market. “This increase in brands will entice consumers to spend more … with the shift from solely retail-focused to more comprehensive entertainment experiences.”

Bubble tea, after all, is not just a drink but a social experience, seen as a more fun, colorful way for people to get together than over the traditional coffee.

Other kinds of businesses, like boxing gyms, pet shops and cosmetics stores, are starting to appear, too, and with foreign investor backing. It seems every week there is a new storefront popping up, hoping to cater to the Vietnamese shoppers’ changing tastes. The new businesses are engaging in lines of commerce from Japanese whisky bars to stores for birthday party paraphernalia, that did not exist in the Southeast Asian country even a decade ago.

Vietnamese, drinks, fond, nuance, consumption
New businesses like exercise centers, from the all-encompassing gym to the boxing or yoga studio, are popping up around Vietnam. VOA

Vietnamese citizens are earning more, and they are ready to spend it. A survey by Nielsen Vietnam, a market research company, indicated consumer confidence rose 7% in the first quarter of 2019 compared with the last quarter of 2018.

“This significant increase of consumer confidence indicates that consumers continue the positive” sentiment, said Nguyen Huong Quynh, managing director at Nielsen Vietnam.

“Manufacturers and retailers need to capture the latest trends in the consumer market and need to act faster to respond to the evolving needs of consumers,” she added.

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The changing behavior extends past the biggest cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In the central beach town of Da Nang, for example, the changing appetite of consumers is drawing ever more types of business.

“A great deal of international retailers are planning to penetrate the local market to introduce their products to tourists and local customers in Da Nang and enhance their brand image in Vietnam,” the Colliers analysis said. (VOA)

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Here’s Why Light Alcohol Consumption Might Also Increase Cancer Risk

The researchers found an almost linear association between cancer risk and alcohol consumption

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Alcohol
In a study published in the journal Cancer, the overall cancer risk appeared to be the lowest at zero alcohol consumption. Pixabay

If you thought one-two drinks a day would not do any harm, think again. Researchers in Japan have found that even light alcohol consumption might increase the cancer risk.

In the study published in the journal Cancer, the overall cancer risk appeared to be the lowest at zero alcohol consumption. The elevated risk appeared to be explained by alcohol-related cancer risk across relatively common sites, including the colorectum, stomach, breast, prostate and esophagus.

“In Japan, the primary cause of death is cancer,” said one of the researchers Masayoshi Zaitsu from The University of Tokyo. “Given the current burden of overall cancer incidence, we should further encourage promoting public education about alcohol-related cancer risk,” Zaitsu said. The team examined clinical data on 63,232 patients with cancer and 63,232 controls matched for sex, age, hospital admission date, and admitting hospital. The data was gathered from 33 general hospitals in Japan.

All participants reported their average daily amount of standardised alcohol units and the duration of drinking. One standardised drink containing 23 grams of ethanol was equivalent to one 180-ml cup of Japanese sake, one 500-ml bottle of beer, one 180-ml glass of wine, or one 60-ml cup of whiskey.

Drink, Alcohol, Cup, Whiskey, The Drink
If you thought one-two drinks a day would not do any harm, think again. Researchers in Japan have found that even light alcohol consumption might increase the cancer risk. Pixabay

The researchers found an almost linear association between cancer risk and alcohol consumption. A light level of drinking at 10-drink-year point, for example, one drink per day for 10 years or two drinks per day for five years would increase cancer risk by five per cent, the findings showed.

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Those who drank two or fewer drinks a day had an elevated cancer risk regardless of how long they had consumed alcohol. Also, analyses classified by sex, drinking/smoking behaviours and occupational class mostly showed the same patterns. (IANS)