HCM CITY (VNS)— It should be boom time for mooncake sellers in HCM City as the Mid-Autumn Festival approaches but sales are down by around 40 per cent over the last year.
Mooncakes are a traditional delicacy of the Mid Autumn festival and shops selling these sweet meats spring up all over the city.
The festival is celebrated on the 15th of the eight Lunar month, which this year falls on September 30.
Nguyen Huu, who runs a mooncake outlet at the Maximark Cong Hoa Supermarket, said only 10 or so customers visited his shop one day.
Consumption had reduced sharply, Huu said. His shop was selling mooncakes worth VND10-12 million (US$500-600) a day, the same price as last year, even though prices were higher this year.
Minh Hoang, a shop owner in Go Vap District, said he spent VND40 million ($2,000) buying mooncakes to serve consumers this year. Until now, however, he has sold less than 30 per cent of them.
Despite "many promotions", Pham Anh Tuan, a trader in Cu Chi District, said he could only sell VND1 million worth of moon cakes a day.
With less than two weeks to go to the festival, consumption was down by 30-40 per cent over last year, he said. Mooncake producers also confirmed consumption had sharply declined this year, but that this was more at the retail level.
Ngo Thi Phuong Thao, a public relations officer for the Bien Hoa Confectionery Joint Stock Company, told the Tuoi Tre (the Youth) newspaper that the company had achieved 90 per cent of its sales plan.
A representative from the Kinh Do Corporation, another leading confectioner, said 85 per cent of their sales target had been reached, with sales to companies and enterprises increasing by 15 per cent over last year. — VNS