Many enterprises are making good on rising overseas Vietnamese - driven demand for traditional Tet (Lunar New Year) dishes like the banh chung (glutinous rice cake) and dua hanh (pickled spring onions).

In fact they say they are more concerned about the availability of raw materials to make several products than about finding customers to buy them.

As the Lunar New Year approaches, similar to Vietnam , markets in Europe, America and other places where the Vietnamese diaspora is concentrated tend to carry many of the traditional Tet foods like glutinous rice cakes, lotus seeds, melon seeds, tropical fruits and jams that are stocked by Vietnamese families to serve guests during the Tet holidays.

Vietnamese enterprises are cashing on this demand for authentic Tet specialities by introducing their products at international trade fairs. Though they are small manufactures, they have already built websites to introduce their products.

Tran Thanh Toan said that his glutinous rice cake company was building a website to introduce products with a Tet flavour.

Toan said his company has exported 30 tonnes of banh chung and banh tet (cylindric glutinous rice cake) to France and the US for this Tet season, adding orders have doubled compared with last year. They can only deal with orders which are placed a month in advance, he said.

This month, he has to call on hundreds of locals to finish the task in time for shipping many kinds of foodstuff including pickled spring onions, fish-sauce and rice paper, Toan said.

Pham Thi Ngoc Lien, owner of a food company in Ho Chi Minh City , said she has exported three containers of similar products to the US . She said there has been a huge demand for such products in foreign countries.

The enterprises predict the food export volume will soar at least 25 – 30 percent this month compared with the previous months and prices will increase by 10 percent against last year.

Some exporters say they now have regular spaces in supermarkets and groceries in foreign markets. They are no longer confined to small shops run by overseas Vietnamese./.