Around 70% of the Vietnamese population live in rural areas, according to World Bank data, and traditional trade - small shops or markets - remains the main way for consumers to purchase food.
This means that the final stage of distribution is commonly in a small truck or on the back of a motorbike, Bert Jan Post, managing director, Tetra Pak Vietnam, told DairyReporter.com's Rachel Arthur during her visit to Vinamilk’s Vietnam Milk Factory.
“In Vietnam you have very modern areas: people come to Ho Chi Minh and they see there’s a big city, quite modern,” he said. “If you go out, very quickly you find yourself in rural areas where life is very different.
“That has an impact for many things and one of those is the distribution chain. You have a sequence of distributors where at the end, the last part is a small truck delivers boxes to a small store, or even has to go on a motorbike, or even it goes to shops where you can’t get by motorbike but you have to go by small boat.
“In those difficult circumstances, UHT products give the opportunity to deliver products in the right quality to consumers who are so far away from the modern means of transport.”
DairyReporter.com traveled to Vietnam earlier this month to visit Vinamilk's recently inaugurated $110m (€80m) ‘mega factory'.
The plant, which is is equipped with processing and packaging technology from Tetra Pak, opened in September 2013. For a look inside the plant, click here.