Vietnamese consumers turn their backs on commercial moon cakes

By Bui Hong Nhung   September 13, 2016 | 01:00 am PT
There's no substitute for homemade when it comes to moon cakes.

The commercial moon cake market in Vietnam has been sluggish at a time of year when people usually gobble up the delicacies ahead of the Mid-Autumn Festival, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

There are only a few days left before the festival, but businesses and street-side stalls are having to offer discounts just to sell off their stocks.

Shop owners said that sales have fallen by 50-60 percent from previous years, and it's the first time they've had to slice prices to boost cake sales.

Nguyen Thu Huong from Bach Mai Street in Hanoi said that she has been selling moon cakes for 10 years, but this year sales have fallen to their lowest ever.  

“This time last year, I had sold about 150 boxes of moon cakes, nearly double the number I've sold this year. I’m offering discounts now to sell off my stock.”

Other stores have also slashed the price of a box of four moon cakes by VND25,000-40,000 ($1.1-1.8) and are offering promotions like “buy 2 get 1 free” to trigger sales.

Vu Vinh Phu, chairman of the Hanoi Supermarket Association, said that for the last few years, customers have turned to traditional moon cakes made from green beans, fatty meat, sausages, melon seeds and lime leaves rather than picking up mass-made products, while others prefer to make the cakes themselves.

Le Thi Ly from Hai Ba Trung District in Hanoi said that she prefers traditional moon cakes as they are made from fresh ingredients with a clear place of origin. These home-grown products are much cheaper than commercial cakes as they are sold directly by the producers instead of the shops.

Stores are expected to offer larger discounts in the upcoming days in order to sell off their moon cake stocks.

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