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Japan's Lion leaps into Vietnam's fast-growing eye drop market

Consumer goods group will play up made-in-Japan pedigree

A customer and her daughter shop at a store in Hanoi. Vietnam's eye drop market is growing by double-digits, according to Lion.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese consumer goods group Lion makes its first foray into Southeast Asia's eye care market this month in Vietnam and sees room for expansion into Cambodia and other countries as well.

Its upcoming Vietnamese lineup includes the Eyemiru brand of eye drops, which contain vitamin A -- said to be effective in treating eye fatigue. Eye wash will also go on sale there.

Production is being outsourced to a Japanese company that exports the products to Vietnam. Lion will play up the fact that they are made in Japan -- a selling point in the local market.

The new products will be sold at around 8,000 locations, mostly drugstores in urban areas, through the Viet Ha Pharma group, a Ho Chi Minh City-based distributor. Lion will consider offering cooling gel pads and other goods as well. The Japanese company aims to grow its Vietnamese business to 1 billion yen ($9.22 million) by 2022.

Vietnam's eye drop market has been expanding by double digits amid rising health awareness, and now totals some 4 billion yen, according to Lion. Rohto Pharmaceutical, another Japanese player, is among the multinationals selling their products in the country.

Outside its home market, Lion eye drops are available in South Korea and Taiwan. 

One of Japan's biggest consumer goods groups, Lion's brands include Ban deodorant, Clinica dental products and Top laundry detergent.

(Nikkei)

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