ALASKA COD WITH A WIDELY OPENED DOOR TO THE VIETNAM MARKET

ALASKA COD WITH A WIDELY OPENED DOOR TO THE VIETNAM MARKET

ALASKA COD WITH A WIDELY OPENED DOOR TO THE VIETNAM MARKET

ALASKA COD WITH A WIDELY OPENED DOOR TO THE VIETNAM MARKET

ALASKA COD WITH A WIDELY OPENED DOOR TO THE VIETNAM MARKET
ALASKA COD WITH A WIDELY OPENED DOOR TO THE VIETNAM MARKET

ALASKA COD WITH A WIDELY OPENED DOOR TO THE VIETNAM MARKET

Well-known as one of the 10 most delicious fish in the world, Alaska Cod is gradually becoming a regular dish in many of Vietnamese families’ meals.

After anxiously waiting for nearly half a month, Ms. Hoai Thu (lives in Ho Chi Minh City) was delivered a chunk of Alaska Cod weighing almost 5lbs for $25/lbs (about 1 million VND/kg). She said this type of fish was imported from the U.S with a much higher price than cod imported from Russia, Canada, or Norway. Nevertheless, a person “gets one’s money’s worth”, as Alaska Black Cod is much better in smell and flavor.

Looking at the carefully vacuum-packed frozen tray of cod, Ms. Thu said her family would have a fabulous meal with a grilled cod sauced teriyaki dish for dinner tonight. This is the dish that she and her husband had a chance to taste during their trip to Japan last year and developed an addiction to since.

“Not only outrageously delicious, cod is also rich in vitamins and healthy nutrients which are necessary for the healthy development of children. For those reasons, my husband and I always pre-order this kind of fish in order to keep it as a part of our daily meals”, Ms. Thu said.

 

(Frozen Alaska Black cod)

According to Mr. Dao Ngoc Hung, the Director of Luong Nguyen Ltd. (owner of Genki Japan House brand) where specializes in importing and distributing the Alaska black cod to Ho Chi Minh city market, the reason this type of product is hard to buy in the retail market is that there are not many suppliers for it. On average, each container of cod imported from Alaska costs $280,000 USD (about 6 billion VND), therefore, not many companies can afford it. Moreover, most of the cod is distributed to 5-star hotels and chains of Japanese restaurants, so there is not much left for individual customers to purchase.

 

(Mr. Dao Ngoc Hung – GD of Luong Nguyen Company)

At Genki Japan House, for instance, we have recently received daily orders of 110lbs from famous hotels like Metropole and Marriott. At present, our company is importing about 2.5 tons per month, but the board of directors is considering doubling this quantity to meet the market’s demands

“Formerly, the 5-star hotels would order cod imported from Norway or Canada, but lately most of them have switched to use Alaska cod supplied by our company. Despite the higher price, the quality is superior. “The connoisseur of food can easily appreciate the superior flavor after the very first bite”, Mr. Hung said.

The pride of the ocean

 

According to the leading culinary experts, cod is considered one of the 10 best fish in the world. If salmon wins the diners’ heart for its taste, cod is at a higher level not only for its delicious flavor and rich nutrients, but also for spiritual values like luck, health and good fortune, as Asian cultures believe.

Cod lives at a depth of about 900 meters, mainly eats mollusks such as crabs, starfish, worms, squids, and small fishes. Scientists have discovered that this is one of the more intelligent species of fish.

During the winter, which is a period of scarce food and extreme cold, cod adapts to the cold by diving deep, restricting food intake, and slowing down the heart rate. Because of its outstanding characteristics such as agility and intelligence, this fish has become a favorite, as it is believed to bring more health, energy, and talent to those eating it. Besides those qualities, the exceptional fertility of this fish also helps it become a symbol of wealth, reunion, and “children as numerous as a flock”.

In fact, science has also discovered that cod is one of the natural “drugstores” of the ocean because of its incredible nutritional value.  Not only rich in protein and low in fat, cod liver also contains more vitamin A, vitamin D, Omega-3 fatty acid (EPA and DHA) than salmon. Black cod even is a great source of vitamin B12 which is very beneficial for mood, energy, memory, heart, skin, hair, and digestion.

For people with arthritis, oil extracted from cod liver also helps reduce the degeneration of cartilage. Cod not only is beneficial for people with cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, but is also supportive in fighting against kidney, stomach and intestinal cancers.

 

Spectacularly upstream turning

Thanks to the preeminent features mentioned above, cod has become a favorite worldwide, from the temperate countries where it was born, to the dinner tables and feasts in tropical countries. In Asia, Japan and China are the two countries where cod is most consumed.

Alaska cod meat is as white as pearl, soft, flavorful, low in fat, and especially, uncloying. Japanese chefs often make sashimi, nigini to save the best freshness of cod, or make very traditional Japanese dishes like grilled cod with miso sauce, grilled cod with soy sauce, grilled cod with teriyaki sauce, etc.

 

Despite not being in the Vietnam market for long, cod has been eagerly sought out by connoisseurs for its fame. A perfect combination between its naturally delicious flavor and a diversified culinary culture helps to create a variety of cod dishes, from very simple to sophisticated, stimulating the senses of diners. These include favorites such as steamed cod with soy sauce, cod in Hong Kong sauce, pan fried cod, etc.

A widely opening door

The leaders of Genki Japan House are very positive about the growth potential in the Vietnam market due to the rapid growth of average per capita income and the dense appearance of 5-star hotels and high-class restaurant chains.

According to data from the Ministry of Planning and Investment of Vietnam, GDP per capita in 2018 hit $2,590 USD/person, increased more than $200 USD/person compared to 2012 and 1,23 times compared to 2015. There are about 12,300 USD millionaires, ranked the 4th in the world for the number of millionaire growth.

These statistics suggest that the number of Vietnamese people who are willing to pay for products and services which used to be considered as “super expensive” will be on the increase. In the past, many rich people in Hanoi did not hesitate to spend $500 - $600 for a piece of black cod caught from the icy region of the Arctic.

Restaurants inside 5-star hotels are no longer a destination for tourists only, but a place for the locals to enjoy a nutritious breakfast to start a full new day or a romantic dinner with loved ones. The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said the number of 4 and 5 – star hotels is exploding in Vietnam, with the number doubling in just 6 years. As of 2017, the whole country has about 32,000 5-star hotel rooms.

With a culinary philosophy emphasizing not only delicious taste, but also health, the cuisine of Japan has quickly become accepted and enthusiastically embraced by the Vietnamese people. Just several years ago, Japanese restaurants in Vietnam were considered a “specialty” for Western tastes only. At present, the number of restaurants featured as “cherry blossom culinary” has exceeded 1,000 nationwide, with 659 restaurants located in Ho Chi Minh City.    

(Genki Japan House team in HCM)

“These figures show how much Vietnamese people are willing to spend on decent food. Therefore, the door to premium Alaska cod will also be wide-opened”, Mr. Hung evaluated.

The escalating action in the trade war between the US and China is creating opportunity for Alaska cod lovers in Vietnam. According to Undercurrent News, China has decided to increase the tax rate from 25% to 35% on seafood products imported from the US since September 1, 2019. The main seafood products exported to China from the US including salmon, cod, lobster, crab, squid, and Pollock, which are all on the Ministry of Finance’s additional tax list. The previous tariff measures are thought to have reduced 1,3 billion USD in value of US seafood imports into China over the past year. Reportedly, China is one of the major cod importing markets of the US.

Industry experts predict that this will not only increase the volume of cod imported from the US, but also create a tendency of price decrease, which helps this “luxurious” food to reach a larger number of consumers. In fact, data from the General Department of Customs shows that seafood products imported from the US to Vietnam in the first 6 months of this year increased by 67%, hitting 47 million USD.

Nguyễn Thị Kim Huyền – Jolie Nguyen Thi Kim Huyen

CEO – Luong Nguyen Services LTD,.

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