A Ho Chi Minh City-based chain of bakeries has turned a nationwide surplus to its advantage, with colourful and uplifting results for the city’s residents. Restrictions due to the COVID-19 lockdown have led to a 66,000-pound surplus of dragon fruit. In response, the ABC Bakery has created a range of popular baked goods that incorporate the ingredients.
These products, given a distinctive pink colour by their key ingredient, have become a widely popular treat for city residents; a much-needed dose of delicious indulgence and an iconic treat to bring them together. The now-iconic pink bread range from ABC is a popular feature on Vietnamese social media, and is being made into a wide range of treats. These include dragon fruit buns and cakes, baguettes, buns with yam, fruit cakes and durian-filled delights.
In response to their new-found fame, the bakery chain is going through more than 4,400 pounds of dragon fruit every day in order to make its popular pink goods. Since mid-February, ABC has used more than 30 metric tons of dragon fruit. The owners are proud to promote authentic local ingredients, while also finding a solution to hardships and adversity caused by COVID-19.
Kao Sieu Luc explains the idea first came from practical concerns: “The red dragon fruits were sold in the past for 40,000 dong per kg from farmers,” he explained, in a recent interview with Business Insider magazine. “But now they had to sell at 6,000 dong per kg.” This crash in dragon fruit prices was seen by Angela Kao, who is a marketing executive for the bakery, as a tragedy. “Nobody [was] willing to buy, and the fruits [were] all ripe,” she explained.
According to Angela, ABC Bakery also opted for local ingredients in an effort to help Vietnam become more self-sustaining in the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic. She wanted to support local farmers, to ensure their produce did not go to waste, while also giving city residents something to smile about.
Following the success of their dragon fruit range, ABC Bakery is planning to release more products using local ingredients such as durian, watermelon, banana, yam, and sour sop. Personifying the bakery’s mission to celebrate local recipes with local produce, Angela recently unveiled ABC’s latest product: a red dragon fruit bun with salted egg yolk filling.