Chinese farmer Gao Xianzhang created an unexpectedly lucrative business with his Buddha-shaped pears, which were first put out in 2009, and which are now currently the best-selling fruit in Vietnam, ahead of the Lunar New Year.
Apparently, New Year gifts of pears in the likeness of Buddha are all the rage in Vietnam, especially in the markets of Ho Chi Minh City. If you’re interested, they can also be purchased online. You can get 10 of them for $5-10 on Alibaba.
Here’s the testimony of Vietnamese fruit merchant Ruan Dehe:
I started to sell baby pears in December last year for about 13 RMB each. At the beginning, I never thought that they would be so popular in the market; I just stocked several cases of baby pears. Later I almost sold out a ton of these fruits. A number of customers were attracted by their cute appearances and beautiful meanings, hoping to bring luck and wealth to families.
Inspired by a Chinese myth about such fruit bringing good fortune, Gao manufactured the goods by fitting moulds of laughing Buddhas around his pears. Initially selling them for 50 yuan each, he proved naysayers wrong and made a surprising amount of profit.
“People called me crazy. They said I was whimsical and it was impossible to grow baby-shaped fruits,” shared Gao. “They told me to stop wasting my time and money.”
It’s he having the last laugh now — he and Buddha.
By Pinky Latt
[Images via People’s Daily]