VIETNAM March 2020
 
Innovative Noodles, Breads that use domestic fruits to tackle slump in China demand
 
Vietnamese companies have come up with innovative noodles and bread to tackle the huge oversupply of fruits due to the slump in demand from China brought by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Rather than waiting for demand to return and the fruits to go bad, several manufacturers have bought these fruits and converted them to interesting recipes like ‘dragon fruit’ instant noodles which are growing in popularity in several cities in the country.
Chu Tien Dung, Chairman of the HCMC Union of Business Associations, said exports of Vietnamese farm produce, especially dragon fruit and watermelon, had fallen because of the Covid-19 epidemic's effect on trade with China, the largest buyer for the products. To help farmers make use of their products, many businesses had created new products using dragon fruit and watermelon, gaining positive results, he said.
Le Duy Toan, Director of Duy Anh Foods Import Export Co. Ltd, said his company had experience in producing rice-based products that use vegetables and tubers such as beetroot, carrot and black sesame. With the existing oversupply situation, the company had conducted research to develop new products using watermelon and dragon fruit for the domestic market and for exports. Le Duy added, “This will, on one hand, help us diversify our product portfolio, and on the other hand, support consumption of farmers’ produce.”
Indeed, the company’s watermelon-rice vermicelli and dragon-fruit rice paper are now exported to South Korea, Japan and Australia. Sales of the products in the domestic market are also going very well. Currently, the company uses 1.2-1.5 tonnes of watermelon and 300kg of dragon fruit a day, and this is expected to increase with growing demand. It is also studying the potential of using bananas and pumpkins in manufacturing other innovative food products.
Another company, ABC Bakery has succeeded in creating a new type of bread that uses dragon fruit. Its bright pink dragon fruit bread became an instant hit with consumers forming long queues to buy the product. During the first 10 days alone, the company bought up to 30 tonnes of dragon fruits to manufacture 30,000 loaves of dragon fruit bread for the domestic market. There are also possibilities to use other domestic fruits like bananas and watermelons to make bread.
 
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