HCM CITY (VNS) — Vietnamese confectionery brands are outselling foreign products in the run-up to Tet (the Lunar New Year).
Big brands like Duc Hanh, Thai Huong, and Linh Anh have improved quality, added new products, and offer competitive prices.
Supply is only 2 per cent up from last year, and prices are 10-15 per cent higher.
In wholesale markets like Ben Thanh, An Dong, Tan Dinh, and Binh Tay, traditional sugared lotus, coconut, squash, soursop, and sweet potato are popular.
Most are competitively priced at VND45,000-150,000 (US$2.14-7.14) per kilo.
Tran Thi Tuyet, who owns a stall in Ben Thanh Market, said though confectionery imported from Thailand, Malaysia, Switzerland, and the US are being bought by affluent customers, Vietnamese brands are doing remarkably well.
"Customers like confectionery packed in colourful tin boxes by big brands like Kinh Do and Bibica and sold at reasonable prices."
The HCM City Department of Health has ordered market and health officials to closely monitor food hygiene and safety before Tet when the market will be flooded with food and drinks.
Its inspectors will focus on sugared fruits and other processed foods.
They will look out for products without information about origin, fakes, smuggled goods, and expired food products.
But market officials said monitoring products in the market is plagued by several challenges like a lack of preventive health staff.
There are only 500 health officials to inspect more than 10,200 food production facilities in the city. — VNS