Hungry for Success: Urban Consumer Demand for Wild Animal Products in Vietnam

Hungry for Success: Urban Consumer Demand for Wild Animal Products in Vietnam

Author(s): Drury, Rebecca

Publication Date: 2011

Location: Asia


Rising urban prosperity is escalating demand for wild animal products in Vietnam. Conservation interventions seek to influence consumer demand, but are based on a limited understanding of consumers and consumption behaviour. This report presents key findings of a structured survey (n=915) and semi-structured interviews (n=78) to investigate the social context of consumption of wild animal-derived products among the population of central Hanoi. Wildmeat is the product most commonly reported consumed—predominantly by successful, high-income, high-status males of all ages and educational levels—and is used as a medium to communicate prestige and obtain social leverage. As Vietnam’s economy grows and its population ages, demand for wildmeat and medicinal products is likely to rise. Given the difficulties of acting on personal rather than collective interests and the symbolic role of wildmeat in an extremely status-conscious society, reducing demand is challenging. Influencing consumer behaviour over the long term requires social marketing expertise and has to be informed by an in-depth understanding, achieved using appropriate methods, of the social drivers of consumer demand for wild animal products. In the meantime, strengthened enforcement is needed to prevent the demand being met from consumers prepared to pay the rising costs of finding the last individuals of a species.

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