Fresh coconut sellers at the Fugalei Market are struggling with the sudden surge in demand from consumers, as the month of December continues and the holiday season warms up.
One seller busy taking full advantage of good sales is Petelo Fa’amausili of Leauva’a.
His sales this month have jumped quite noticeably compared to last month in November.
“No matter how many coconuts I bring to sell at the market, by noon I would have very few left and by 5.oo pm I’d be sold out,” Fa’amausili said.
“It’s quick money for myself and my family that comes in handy for buying the kids Christmas presents and other holiday expenses.”
Fa’amausili has discovered that the measles epidemic is one of the main reasons pushing up his sales.
Holidaying relatives and tourists are his other main buyers.
“When I ask people about their choice of drink, they would say that they want to accept the advice from Ministry of Health of drinking plain water or fresh coconuts, especially now with the measles.
“Tourists tell me this is their most preferred ‘healthy drink’ while some have never tested fresh coconut before and they want to drink it as part of their experience in Samoa.”
The busy seller included among his regular customers the restaurant operators and even big businesses like the Taumeasina Hotel Resort.
Fa’amausili admits it is hard work and for now it is a struggle to keep up with the demand but at the end of the day it was worth it.
His coconuts are normally sold at $2-$3 tala but since the burst in demand he has raised it to between $4-$5 a drink.
He has been selling several hundred fresh coconuts a day in these past few weeks.
“Even with the increase of price, the demand is still there and it is something I am grateful for.
“I’ve talked to other seller and they too are enjoying good sales and also struggling with the problem of enough supplies to meet the demand.”
Fa’amausili and the other sellers agree that it has never before been like this and are taking as a blessing for their families.
“I am sure we will have enough for everyone to enjoy the holidays.”