Vietnam will be the fastest-growing convenience market in Asia by 2021, predicts international grocery research organization IGD.

According to the researcher, Asia's grocery market will be the largest in the world with predicted 6.3 percent of compound annual growth rate, up to US$4.8 trillion by 2021.

Of that, the convenience store sector will see double-digit compound annual growth in the next four years.

IGD predicts the Vietnam convenience store market will grow by 37.4 percent in that time, followed by the Philippines at 24.2 percent and Indonesia at 15.8 percent. Those figures are based on assessments of the performance of the leading convenience store operators in each market.

During the past couple years, Vietnam convenience stores have become popular destinations, especially for young consumers. Savvy operators, like Circle K and FamilyMart have recognized local demand for c-stores as a place to not only shop but to hang out as well, providing an air-conditioned area to consume freshly-served convenience foods and snacks, up-to-date merchandising systems, a mix of imported and local goods and – in some stores – even free Wi-Fi.

According to IGD, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia share similar characteristics that make their convenience markets particularly ripe for growth, including store expansion; local players gaining a stronger foothold; and rise to popularity of neighborhood mini-supermarkets;

Increased GDP per capita and foreign investment have also encouraged the market growth.

"Among all the brick-and-mortar grocery channels, convenience shows the strongest growth prospects in Asia, thanks to rapid urbanisation, a growing young population and greater levels of disposable income," says Nick Miles, head of Asia-Pacific at IGD.

Source: Inside Retail Asia