Once, Ms. Luong Thanh Thuy, General Director of Luong Gia Food put on the table the dried mango to cut all the labels and invite partners to taste. Products selected by partners are products of Luong Gia Food with higher selling prices than similar products on the market.
Waiting for customers to feel the aroma, sweetness on the tongue, Ms. Thuy said that quality is the top priority of the company and expressed the hope that the partners will share the same direction.
“When it comes to Vietnamese agricultural products, people talk about cheap prices. I want people to say my products are good, high prices. I don’t like them saying my products are cheap, ” Ms. Thuy said in an interview with Forbes Vietnam. Vegetables and fruits are one of the important economic sectors in Vietnam with export value of billions of US dollars in recent years international markets. Luong Gia Food, an 11-year-old fruit processing company, is taking a different approach to the market, not competing at low prices but at product quality.
Luong Gia Food, full name is Luong Gia Food Technology Joint Stock Company, based in Ho Chi Minh City with two factory in Dong Nai, capacity of 100 tons / day. The company’s products are mainly dried tropical fruits, from plentiful fruits in Vietnam such as mango, papaya, dragon fruit, orange, pineapple … Luong Gia Food Factory in Long Khanh has modern BRC (British Retail Consortium) standard – a global standard for food safety published by the British retail association. This is the most stringent food safety standard accepted in more than 80 countries. In 2019, Luong Gia’s revenue will reach about VND 700 billion. According to transparency, the company has grown an average of 20% in revenue in recent years.
Established in 2009, currently, Luong Gia’s market structure accounts for 70% of exports in the form of custom-made products (ODM) for major brands such as Dole, Costco exporting to markets with high quality standards such as the EU, Korea, Russia … According to statistics, China is a market consuming 70% of Vietnam’s agricultural products, but Ms. Thuy does not want to boost consumption in the market more than 1.4 billion person because: “European partners make very difficult requirements on insurance, security, social responsibility and occupational safety. But they upgrade themselves. In the future, do not hesitate with any buyer. ” In addition to exporting, 30% of Luong Gia’s products appear on shelves of big domestic supermarkets such as Lotte, Vinmart, Co.opmart … with their own brands.
With favorable natural conditions, Vietnam is a country with a strong position in cultivation, a commodity that contributes significantly to vegetable exports of US $ 3.7 billion in 2019. Vietnam’s tropical fruits have two famous varieties, Hoa Loc and Cat Chu, which have been exported to many high-end markets such as the US, Australia, Japan, and South Korea. However, this fruit has thin skin, has difficulty in transportation and storage. In addition to the fragmented land, the harvested products are heterogeneous in terms of quality and size, which significantly limits the ability of large-scale exports of Vietnamese mangoes to international markets.
Luong Gia Food and many processing enterprises such as Vinamit and Lavifood are contributing to solve the output for Vietnamese fruits, the few businesses are deeply involved and the 5% stage of processed products of Vietnam’s agricultural industry. . According to transparency, dried mango is the key product contributing 40% of Luong Gia Food’s revenue. With a retail price of about VND 66,000 / bag of 100 grams, Luong Gia’s dried mango Ohla is the highest selling group among similar products on the market surveyed by Forbes Vietnam. Ms. Le Thi Kim Tam, director of An Vinh Company, the distributor of dried fruit, commented that Luong Gia’s products are low in sugar, naturally sour and sweet, no coloring, and are popular with visitors.
Mr. Jiri George Kratena, a Czech businessman, established a trading company trading fruits processed from many tropical countries, including Luong Gia Food’s Ohla brand. He tasted Luong Gia’s dried mango Ohla during his holiday to Vietnam last year, and concluded: “It’s the best I’ve ever tried.” After distributing this product, he said, “Luong Gia Food’s products taste different from other manufacturers.”
How do Luong Gia Food’s dried mango products create a “different flavor”? Ms. Thuy said to ensure the dried mango products retain their natural flavor, the first step is the company strictly controls the input material, “if it is too sour or fibrous, it will not be bought”. Luong Gia Food has a cold storage with capacity of less than 2,000 tons of fruit, both storing raw materials for the low season, and preserving fresh and raw materials for production. After being cleaned, fruits are immediately put into cold storage at low temperatures. Ms. Thuy said the company keeps its own recipe and know-how: experience in adjusting the time and temperature during the production process to create a unique flavor for the product close to the natural flavor.
In addition to consuming fruits for agricultural cooperatives around the factory area in Dong Nai, Ms. Thuy focuses on exploiting the main raw material area in Dong Thap, one of the fruit granaries of the delta Cuu Long. Luong Gia Food also expanded its product range from 15 to 17 samples of dried fruit and continuously diversified its products because fruits are harvested seasonally.
Born in 1976 in An Giang, Ms. Thuy started many times before founding Luong Gia Food. After graduating from university, she and her family ran a packaging printing company but felt that it was not suitable, so she accumulated enough capital to open her own restaurant when she was gifted and liked to cook food. The restaurant failed, from her specialty, Ms. Thuy opened a chao workshop, the product had a foothold on the distribution shelves of big supermarkets such as Co.opmart, Big C … of fresh agricultural business, she came up with a new business idea when she accidentally tasted Thai dried fruit product: “I think of Vietnamese traditional jam but more advanced.”
Ms. Thuy entered the fruit processing industry in 2009. Initially, the company did not know how to use raw mango raw materials, must add more color and aroma during processing. Therefore, the product hard and discolored after a while, the supermarkets simultaneously returned. After several failures, the husband issued an “ultimatum”: “If it fails again, it must be stopped.” Through a friend, Ph.D., a Vietnamese food doctor in France, she found a recipe and process of processing dried mangoes from ripe mangoes to ensure color and taste. To invest in equipment and factories, she sold all the houses and land. After success with the mango, the company tested other fresh fruits such as papaya, guava, passion fruit… Ms Thuy said: “There are two ways of starting a business. One is doing something the market has, two is doing something that the market doesn’t have. ” The husband once advised his wife to stop her current business in charge of input materials for Luong Gia factory.
After the production of processed goods, Luong Gia Food is focusing on developing its own brand Ohla when the domestic market has many new production facilities. “Previously, people thought that Vietnam only produced raw agricultural products and could not produce value-added products. We did that and put a dot on the map of the world’s dried fruit. Now, we want to build a brand of Vietnamese agricultural products, ”said Thuy.
Quote of Forbes Vietnam # 83 – April 2020: https://forbesvietnam.com.vn/tin-cap-nhat/luong-gia-food-tim-duong-thoat-phan-gia-re-11016.html