Sustainable Rice in Vietnam: Insights from Consumer Behaviors and Perceptions

As SRP concludes its comprehensive consumer survey [1] across diverse Asian markets, our focus turns to Vietnam, where consumers emerged as frontrunners in their awareness and adoption of sustainable food practices, particularly when it comes to rice. The study sheds light on the preferences, concerns, and purchasing behaviors of Vietnamese consumers, providing valuable insights for stakeholders in the rice industry.

Rice Preferences in Vietnam

In Vietnam, the centrality of rice in daily diets is undeniable, with 100% of respondents consuming rice at least five times a week. White rice takes the lead as the most popular choice (84%), particularly favored by adults aged 45 to 54, constituting 88% of those who opt for this staple. Less frequently purchased varieties include glutinous (33%), brown (27%), and jasmine (25%) rice.

Awareness and Purchase Behavior

Vietnamese consumers exhibit the highest level of awareness of sustainable food practices among the surveyed markets, with an impressive 88% reporting purchases of sustainable produce. Notably, the age group between 35 and 44 years displays an even higher adoption rate, reaching an outstanding 93%.

The primary drivers behind the decision to opt for sustainable food are health (78%) and the desire for better-quality produce (77%). Additionally, environmental impact, taste, and concerns for future generations contribute significantly to the multifaceted approach Vietnamese consumers take toward sustainable choices.

Quality and Food Safety Concerns

Quality remains a dominant factor when purchasing rice, yet food safety has gained prominence due to historical contamination issues and high levels of agricultural inputs such as antibiotics and chemical fertilizers [2]. Public anxiety over food safety, triggered by high-profile incidents, has heightened awareness among Vietnamese consumers.

Awareness and Characteristics of Sustainable Rice

The survey reveals that nearly three-quarters of Vietnamese consumers are aware of sustainable rice, translating into a significant 64% reporting purchases of sustainable rice. Vietnamese consumers define sustainable rice based on its ability to minimize chemical inputs (54%), improve soil health (46%), and protect biodiversity (45%). Interestingly, health and taste are not considered primary characteristics associated with sustainably produced rice, setting it apart from perceptions in other surveyed markets.

Willingness to Pay for Sustainable Rice

Encouragingly, only 6% of Vietnamese consumers would be unwilling to pay more for sustainable rice, the lowest proportion among surveyed countries. A majority (54%) is willing to incur a modest 5% price increase, with around 30% accepting of paying 10% more. Notably, 11% of Vietnamese consumers, primarily aged 18-24, express a willingness to pay a premium of 20% for sustainable rice.


The survey findings underscore a solid foundation for promoting sustainable rice products in Vietnam. With high awareness and substantial consumer willingness to pay, especially among the younger demographic and those aged 35-44 years, the rice industry in Vietnam has a unique opportunity to capitalize on this growing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly food options. As stakeholders navigate this landscape, addressing food safety concerns, emphasizing quality, and leveraging various communication channels will be key to fostering continued growth in the sustainable rice market.

The full summaries of the consumer survey can be accessed here.
SRP members can access the complete survey results through the member area on the SRP website.

[1] The survey was commissioned by GIZ and conducted by YouGov in March 2022. Funded through the develoPPP programme which Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and in collaboration with private companies. The support was provided through the Mainstreaming Sustainable Rice project, which aims to scale sustainable rice production and demand globally. The study targeted respondents who regularly consume rice and are responsible for household food purchases in India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

[2} Food safety risk management in Vietnam: Challenges and opportunities (

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