Japan’s Hachi-ban ramen forays into Vietnam
HO CHI MINH CITY, NNA - Japanese ramen noodle shop chain operator Hachi-ban Co. has moved into Vietnam, opening its first outlet in the country early this month following a decades-long store expansion to more than 100 in Thailand.
The company has franchised Mesa Asia Pacific Trading Services Co., a major fast-moving consumer goods distributer and dining chain operator, as the local firm eagerly sought for a partnership, a senior Hachi-ban official told NNA Wednesday.
The 65-seat restaurant at Vincom Center shopping mall in Ho Chi Minh City offers a bowl of ramen at 58,000 dong ($2.5), compared to 60,000 to 70,000 dong at other ramen shops run by Japanese companies, targeting a growing middle class in the country, he said.
Hachi-ban has provided technical expertise to assist Mesa in operating a central kitchen in the southern metropolis since this month. The local partner procures soups, sauces and extracts from Double Flowering Camellia Co., Hachi-ban’s soup manufacturing affiliate in Thailand, the official said.
Mesa deals with various consumer product brands such as P&G and Nestle, while partnering with Japanese restaurant chain operator Ootoya Co. Japanese financial service firm Olix Corp. has injected capital into the local firm via an investment fund.
The Japanese ramen dining operator headquartered in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture on the Sea of Japan, opened its first overseas outlet in Bangkok in 1992 and entered Hong Kong in 2003.
In Thailand, it runs 128 shops as of late April this year, becoming one of the few Japanese ramen shop operators to have over 100 outlets abroad. It has 121 ramen restaurants at home, according to the company.
In response to the Vietnamese partner showing a keen interest in introducing the successful ramen brand in Thailand, the Japanese firm hopes to expand its store networks in Vietnam to as many as in Thailand, the official said.