Micronutrient deficiencies are still prevalent in Vietnam, having negative effects on public health, especially on women of child bearing age and young children. Food fortification is one of the most cost-effective, scalable, and proven strategies to tackle these problems.
With support from the GAIN, the Nation Institute for Nutrition of Vietnam has implemented a four-year project to fortify soy sauce, fish sauce, vegetable oil, and flavouring powders with iron, vitamin A, and zinc. The project aimed to develop the market for fortified products through changing consumers’ behaviours, getting industries involved in the production of fortified foods, and law enforcement. A study with cross-sectional stratified household survey was conducted to gain a complete understanding of the knowledge, attitude and practices regarding fortified foods as well as associated factors, in order to provide the upfront information to the national fortification.
12 producers involved in producing fortified foods, reaching approximately twenty million consumers, 13% consumers could recall the campaign logo and 43% ever heard about fortified foods, 39% of consumers prefer buying fortified foods to non-fortified foods.
although all four condiments were well consumed by interviewed, the consumption and recognition of fortified foods per se as well as people understanding of micronutrient functions are quite low. Mandatory fortification is considered the more effective in light of low awareness from consumers. Vietnam as endorsed a decree on mandatory fortification, which is a historic milestone in the national fortification strategy. It will establish a level playing field between companies. Nevertheless, a roadmap is required in order to guide producers.