HCMC heat wave spurs sidewalk stalls to double drink sales

By Hong Chau   April 29, 2024 | 02:17 am PT
Amid the severe heat wave in HCMC, sidewalk stalls selling cooling drinks are making a killing, with many saying sales are double that of a year ago.

Since the end of March the city has been sweltering with temperatures consistently above 35 degrees Celsius and sometimes exceeding 40 degrees.

Many mobile drinks stalls have popped up to help people cool down.

On Phan Van Tri Street in Go Vap District, there are five such stalls within a few hundred meters.

Iced herbal drinks priced at VND10,000 (40 US cents) to VND25,000 per plastic glass or bottle of 500 ml are the best-selling items for them.

A vendor named Thach said the extreme heat means the demand for cooling drinks has "skyrocketed."

"On average, I sell 500 bottles a day, and on busy days up to 1,000 bottles. This is a 30% increase compared to the beginning of the year and the same period last year."

The ingredient costs have risen but she has kept the price unchanged for the past three years, she said.

She also wholesales to other businesses, she added.

Thach sits at her stall selling cool drinks on the sidewalk of Phan Van Tri Street in Go Vap District, April 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Hong Chau

Thach sits at her stall selling cool drinks on the sidewalk of Phan Van Tri Street in Go Vap District, April 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Hong Chau

Hanh, who sells orange and grapefruit juices on Dinh Bo Linh Street in Binh Thanh District, said on summer days she sells an average of 400 bottles.

This number has doubled since the beginning of the year and is 20% higher than a year ago, she said.

Fresh coconut water and fruit juice are also in high demand.

Hoa, who has a mobile fresh coconut cart in District 12, said she sells 200-300 every day.

"Many customers buy one or two bunches of coconuts to drink gradually, and so on peak days I sell out 3-4 carts."

Each coconut punch as five to 15 nuts. People who have high demand of coconut would buy them in bunches to make sure the nuts stay fresh for longer.

Coconut wholesalers in Go Vap District said they sell dozens of bunches every day.

According to business owners, they have also sell online, thus significantly increasing their revenues.

"In addition to selling to passers-by, online orders have doubled since last year, so my income has increased by 30%," the owner of the juice stall on Dinh Bo Linh Street said.

Bottled drinks have also seen a dramatic increase in sales at supermarkets.

At Co.op Mart and Go! Winmart outlets, their sales have increased by 10-30% during this heat wave.

Many supermarkets are stimulating sales by offering promotions such as "buy 2 get 1 free."

A Saigon Co.op spokesperson said sales of electrolytes and supplemental foods have increased by 30% from last month.

Healthy products like lotus heart tea, bitter melon tea and pennywort powder have seen a 50% increase in sales as consumers’ attention to their health increases proportionately with the temperature.

Sales of fresh fruits and vegetables have also doubled from last month.

The weather office has said the hot weather will persist until May.

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