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Belgium’s top exporters are bringing the original Belgian fries to Vietnam
It is a five-nation promotional campaign in Southeast Asia, co-ordinated by VLAM and Belgapom, the association for the Belgian potato trade and processing industry. Accordingly, the Flanders Agricultural Marketing Board (VLAM) has recently brought five major Belgian fries exporters to Vietnam, including Agristo, Bart’s Potato Company, Clarebout Potatoes, Ecofrost, and Mydibel.
They represented the five biggest family-owned businesses in the industry in Belgium offering a wide range of potato products and specialties that are exported to over 100 countries worldwide. The exporters showcased their products Food & Hotel Vietnam 2019 to deeper penetrate the Vietnamese market.
“Hot on the heels of exhibiting in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore, we are pleased to bring Belgian fries to Vietnam this time round as part of our plan to increase our presence in the Southeast Asian region,” said Romain Cools from Belgapom. “There is an existing market in this region for our products, but we see an even bigger opportunity to expand exports and heighten appreciation for our national delicacy.”
According to Cools, the consumption of potatoes and related products in Vietnam is still low at nearly 4 kilogrammes per capita per year but it has been rising over the last 30 years. Overall demand is increasing because of a 1.1 per cent per annum increase in the population. The current population is 93 million and is expected to rise to 113 million by 2050.
“Vietnam is well-known as a food-lover’s paradise and Vietnamese consumers really know and love good food. Belgian fries are still relatively unknown in Vietnam, so we are excited about this opportunity to share one of Belgium’s most beloved national dishes with Vietnam,” he said.
Belgium is the largest exporter of frozen fries in the world, with 90 per cent of its production sent to the global market. In 2018, Belgian companies processed an astonishing 5 million tonnes of potatoes.
Belgian fries have a long history and have become part of the country’s heritage, with many shops and stands in Belgium serving this delicious savory snack. In fact, the ubiquitous Belgian fry shops that can be found in every city or village have been recognised as part of the cultural landscape in Belgium, with UNESCO status being sought for the dish since 2014.