In Vietnam, there are countless famous and delicious specialty fruits. One day soon Vietnam will have more high-class fruit brands that attract domestic and international consumers.
|In late June this year, while plums in many localities went unsold, and prices fell sharply due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic, the plums of Moc Chau (Son La province) sold for VND 250,000 per kilo.|
For two years now, every Tet (lunar New Year) holiday, instead of buying expensive imported fruits, Mr. Nguyen Hoang Minh (Dong Da district, Hanoi) chooses Vietnamese fruits as gifts for his partners. For the first time, it took him more than a week to search and ask his friends to buy 50 boxes of yellow passion fruit from Son La province.
A box of this sweet passion fruit consists of only 15 fruits, but the price was up to 300,000 VND, many times more expensive than the common passion fruit sold on the market. However, Minh was very satisfied because the fruit were all big, beautiful, juicy, with the traceability label, each fruit wrapped in a foam net and placed in a luxury gift box.
The stamp for “made in Vietnam” high-end products
Nearly three years ago, in Luc Ngan (Bac Giang), the kingdom of lychee in northern Vietnam, an enterprise that owns a system of fruit shops in Hanoi cooperated with local gardeners to grow lychee under organic standards. In the harvest season, the firm sent its staff to the gardens to harvest lychees.
This firm not only sold lychee by the kilo but also “high-end” products. The organic lychees were carefully selected, and packed in paper boxes ordered from Japan. The lychees were placed on a golden silk background. Outside the box was a traceability stamp. Customers only needed to use their phones to look up the software to find all the information about the product.
A box of 12 organic lychees sold for VND 200,000 (about VND 17,000/fruit). This sky-high price immediately caused a stir in the market, because people used to buy lychee by weight, even for only VND10,000-20,000/kg.
This company only offered 500 boxes of luxury lychees on the domestic market and the product immediately sold out.
In late June this year, while plums in many localities went unsold, and prices fell sharply due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic, the plums of Moc Chau (Son La province) sold for VND 250,000 per kilo.
Mr. Ha Nhu Hue, Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Son La province, said that this was the first time the province cooperated with enterprises to offer high-class plum products.
Plums were carefully selected from the plum orchards grown according to organic standards, GlobalGAP. In these orchards, plum trees are planted 5-6m from each other so that the trees can fully absorb sunlight. Their canopies are trimmed and the number of fruits is reduced so that fruit will be bigger. Plums are classified at the garden based on their size and quality. After harvesting, plums are inspected for food quality and safety, then canned and shipped to the distribution system.
Son La province has become a large fruit basket in the Northern region of Vietnam serving the domestic market as well as for export. However, its specialty fruits are still in the “popular” segment, while the high-end segment is still unexplored.
After the success of the plums this year, the authorities of Son La province will develop more high-quality agricultural products to supply the domestic market and for export, Hue said.
Regaining the domestic market for luxury products
Currently, the area of fruit trees in Vietnam is about 1.14 million hectares, and the total fruit output is estimated at 12.6 million tons/year. There are many kinds of fruits that are top in the world in both output and export.
Vietnam’s fruit has been exported to 60 countries. Last year the country earned US$3.5 billion from this product line. However, Vietnam’s fruits can only meet the popular segment in both the domestic and export markets. Meanwhile, the high-end segment on the domestic market is now dominated by imported fruits.
In January-October period of 2021, Vietnam spent $1.201 billion to import vegetables and fruits, up 14.7% over the same period in 2020.
In recent years, the market for high-end imported fruits has been bustling. Although there are no specific statistics, according to some distribution systems, imported fruits priced several hundred thousand dong, even several million dong per kilogram, are being particularly favored by the wealthy.
The stories of Japanese Ruby Roman grapes selling for 11 million VND, Japanese red mangoes priced at 1.5-2 million VND/fruit, Colombian passion fruit priced at 120,000 VND/fruit have become common.
In fact, wealthy Vietnamese spend a lot of money on imported fruits, especially high-class imported fruits. Insiders say that Vietnamese farmers and cooperatives should shift to producing high-quality fruit branded “made in Vietnam” to regain domestic market share.
Ms. Nguyen Ngoc Huyen, CEO of MiaFruit, said that in the first season her company cooperated with farmers in Na Ka valley (Moc Chau) to produce high-grade Ruby plums, which not only sold well at home but got many orders from foreign clients.
At supermarkets in Singapore, Ruby plums sold for about 300,000 VND/kg. In Malaysia, the fruit sold for 216,000 VND/kg. “Made in Vietnam” Ruby plums can compete with American and Australian plums, Huyen said.
In Vietnam, there are countless famous and delicious specialty fruits. One day soon Vietnam will have more high-class fruit brands that attract domestic and international consumers, she said, if we know how to build a brand based on production, cultivation, processing, and commodity standards, geographical indications; and cultural stories, emotions, and images that make a difference.
2021 has been a fruitful year for Vietnam’s agriculture as many farm specialties have entered choosy markets.
The export value of vegetables and fruits reached at US$3.2 billion in 2020 and fruits account for 80 percent of export turnover.