Here are a few facts about Vietnamese Coffee that will blow your mind.
First, Vietnam is the Number 1 producer of coffee -- it recently surpassed Brazil, according to a recent storyÂ in the Diplomat newspaper. Why is this such surprising news? Mostly it's because Vietnamese coffee production has focused on RobustaÂ beans which are primarily used for instant coffee. Instead, Vietnamese coffee to date has not really pushed for the ArabicaÂ beans, which are the gourmet type brands. The former is more of a commodity; the latter is more of a brand item.Â
Second, coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world; oil is the only other commodity that's more traded. Did you know this? Yes, coffee is traded even more than natural gas, gold, copper, silver, sugar, corn, wheat, and cotton. It really blows your mind, doesn't it -- but it's true. This is quite surprising because of the way this beverage is consumed -- one cup at a time -- by humans. It is not used to manufacture any goods or services.
Third, despite these two facts -- and the fact that the United States is the world's largest coffee market, the Vietnamese version to date has not been able to break into the United States market. Why? Because the way Vietnam markets its beans has not been able to tell its story in a truly compelling fashion. It is not about taste. According to the Diplomat article, about 7 of 10 people say they prefer Vietnamese coffee or would add it to their go-to drinks. What Vietnamese brewers need is a hip way to present its product in a way that is mainstream. What are your thoughts about doing this?
Most likely, this will mean that Vietnamese coffee will neet to step away from being a commodity to being more of a brand with real stories or a real narrative. A look at American coffee and even Colombian coffee shows what a good story can do for sales. What would be a good narrative for Vietnamese coffee? Stay tuned.