Bel inaugurates a plant today to produce the Laughing Cow® cheese in Vietnam, supporting the group’s growth in Southeast Asia

Bel Group Chairman and CEO Antoine Fiévet today, in the presence of French and Vietnamese officials, inaugurated a plant to make The Laughing Cow® cheese in Binh Duong province in Vietnam. The new production site is aimed at supplying the Vietnamese market and supporting the Group's growth in Southeast Asia by placing production of The Laughing Cow® closer to the brand's consumers.

Present in Vietnam for over 65 years, the Bel Group leads the country’s cheese market, with The Laughing Cow®, known as Con Bò Cười in Vietnamese, holding an extraordinary 85% market share. The Group’s long history in the country and the fondness of Vietnamese families for The Laughing Cow® brand has enabled Bel to anchor its presence durably in Vietnam, with the establishment of a sales subsidiary in Ho Chi Minh City in 2008, followed by a first test-production site in 2010.

Building on the success of the initial local production test, Bel selected Vietnam to host its own production site, which will supply the local market and support the acceleration of the Group’s development strategy in Southeast Asia.

“I’m very pleased today to be inaugurating this Bel plant in Vietnam, which marks another step in our development in Southeast Asia,” said Antoine Fiévet. “The Laughing Cow is an iconic brand here, and I am delighted that we are strengthening the Group’s presence in this country to supply Southeast Asian markets. Bel’s international business model helps balance our growth opportunities and risk, while serving to locate our production facilities closer to consumer markets.”

High performance plant guarantees food safety, tight managment of environmental footprint and employee safety

Eleven months of work were required to build the production site. A showcase of Bel’s technological knowhow in processed cheese, the plant integrates all of Bel’s manufacturing expertise to deliver the highest quality products, food safety and environmental performance.

“As soon as we fired it up, the plant rapidly attained a high level of performance,” said Hubert Mayet, General Manager of Manufacturing and Technical Operations, Research and Innovation at Bel. “This site was built according to our sustainable plant model, which blends productivity with preserving resources. For example, the roof reflects sunlight and a particularly effective insulation system was installed to reduce energy consumption as much as possible. Designing our plants based on these fundamentals allows us to continue innovating and hitting new operating efficiency and environmental preservation targets.”

The plant’s teams produce over three million single-serving portions of The Laughing Cow® each week for the entire Vietnamese market, as well as for the Cambodian, Philippine, Singaporean and Thai markets.

Situated on 20,000 square meters of land, the plant itself spans 10,000 square meters, enabling it to double its current production capacity to meet increased demand in the years ahead. The plant employs 120 people.

Bel in Vietnam

– Headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City
– One plant in Binh Duong province serving the local market and Southeast Asian export markets.
– 180 employees
– Brands marketed in Vietnam include The Laughing Cow®, Belcube®, Cheez Dippers®, and Mini Babybel®, Kiri.
– Since 2013, Bel has operated its Sharing Cities program, an innovative, inclusive distribution business model, by developing a network of over 2,000 street vendors in Ho Chi Minh City.
In January 2017, the program was extended to a second Vietnamese city, Hanoi.

A few key figures and dates for the plant

– Construction work started in July 2015
– Production began in June 2016
– Over three million single-serving portions of The Laughing Cow® are produced each week
– The plant employs 120 people
– Site is built on 20,000 square meters of land