“The Best Taste of Vietnamese Soy Sauce in 2019”


Nam Duong soy sauce was the proud recipient of the award to be “The Best Taste of Vietnamese Soy Sauce in 2019” as voted by the Canadian Culture Magazin, one of the top culture publications in the world.

Consumers buy Nam Duong soy sauce at Co.opmart Supermarket in Nguyen Kiem St., HCM City.

When word of Nam Duong receiving the honor of being voted “The Best Taste of Vietnamese Soy Sauce in 2019” by Culture Magazin in Canada, swathes of Vietnamese consumers decided to buy the familiar soy sauce brand once again, picking up a bottle emblazoned with the Con Meo Den symbol.

A surprising brand revival

As Mrs. Tran Thi Phuong Hoai pays for two bottles of Nam Duong soy sauce in Vuon Chuoi market, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, she’s reminded of her childhood as she looks at the Con Meo Den symbol. “As a child, sometimes we had nothing to eat except cold, white rice. When we would add a few drops of Con Meo Den soy sauce we’d want to eat bowls and bowls of the stuff. We didn’t need meat, just a bowl of rice or a loaf of white bread and some Con Meo Den soy sauce to dip in. It was our favorite meal.”

Nam Duong soy sauce has been around as long as other famous Vietnamese brands such as Co Ba soap and Hypnos toothpaste, etc., Mrs. Phuong Hoai remembers her children loving the flavor as much as she did. “When I heard that Nam Duong was voted “The Best Taste of Vietnamese Soy Sauce in 2019” I was so proud,” she said. In the Co.opmart Cong Quynh supermarket in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, staff reported that sales of Nam Duong soy sauce have dramatically increased, and it’s down to the recognition from Culture Magazin. 25-year old Mrs Le Long from District 5 added a bottle of Nam Duong soy sauce to her shopping cart and told us, “My mum told me about the famous Con Meo Den soy sauce - it was always advertised on the radio when she was young. When I saw in the news this morning that Nam Duong soy sauce is the same as the old Con Meo Den brand, I had to come and get a bottle so I could have a try.”

Con Meo Den in its heyday

Nam Duong soy sauce, previously known as Con Meo Den, is a brand from the golden days of Saigon. The brand was regularly noted in works by Vuong Hong Sen and Son Nam as the best gourmet but accessible dipping sauce. Vuong Hong Sen has strong memories of Sa Dec noodles and sautéed beef, laced with the taste of Nam Duong soy sauce. He remembers Chinese rice bought from the famed Cho Lon Market that needed to be finished off with soy sauce, chillies, and Tieu vinegar. In the best bakery in Saigon, it was easy to spot bottles of soy sauce, used to draw out the flavor of pork bologna and pate.

The Nam Duong factory in Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park, Ho Chi Minh City, produces the famed soy sauce.

Those in the older generations aren’t always aware of the brand name Nam Duong, but the Con Meo Den symbol has a special place in their memories. In 2019, the brand was recognized as “The Best Taste of Vietnamese Soy Sauce”. This was a significant milestone for the company, which has been perfecting its sauce since it was founded in 1951.

Another vital milestone came back in October 2015, when Nam Duong International Foodstuff Corporation (NDFC) was founded as a joint venture with Wilmar International Limited from Singapore and Saigon Co.op, with an initial investment of US$25.6 million. Soon after, in December 2017, the NDFC factory in Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park, Nha Be, Ho Chi Minh City, was opened.

The investment from Wilmar enabled the company to bring in modern technology and the market access from Saigon Co.op meant the soy sauce could be distributed widely. Along with the famed soy sauce, other condiments such as chili sauce, tomato ketchup, and satay were all refined and delivered across Vietnam. The company was able to supply international markets, with orders coming in from the USA, Russia, Poland, Hungary, Taiwan, and more.

Nam Duong Concentrated Soy Sauce

  • Soybeans, a natural source of iron, have a delicious and pleasing taste for every meal, whilst also being packed with nutritional value.
  • There are no artificial colors, no added sweeteners, and the sauce meets the 2-MCPD standard as laid out by the Ministry of Health.

The Best Taste Vietnamese Soy Sauce in 2019

June 5, 2020, saw Nam Duong International Foodstuff Corporation (NDFC)’s Nam Duong soy sauce honored with the award “The Best Taste Vietnamese Soy Sauce in 2019” by Canada based Culture Magazin.

Culture Magazin is the only Vietnamese - English bilingual magazine in North America and is funded by the Canadian government. It’s the website, http://culturemagazin.com, is ranked fifth in the top ten international culture websites in a poll by Feedspot in 2019.

(Source: Tuoi Tre Newspaper)