yummy Taiwanese souvenirs
One of my dislikes about guided tours is that the tour guides like to bring their clients shopping. On a recent trip to Taiwan, I was rushing to the airport for my flight back, but the tour guide insisted on making a detour to visit this 'great' store to buy some souvenirs for my kids and friends back home.
I was brought to a 'tourist store' named Vigor Kobo which sells Taiwanese traditional cakes and pastries.
visitors get to taste the snacks before they make their purchase
All walk-in visitors are offered samples of their products to try. The crew were attentive and kept introducing their products to us.
the company's products on display
Among Vigor Kobo’s products, the traditional Taiwanese-style pineapple cakes are its all-time best seller. I was told the one-day sales record for its pineapple cakes stands at 100,000 pieces. If you stack up the NT$400 million (S$20 million) worth of pineapple cakes that the store sells in a year, the tower would rise five times as high as Taipei 101 building. WOW!
I like the buttery crust of Vigor Kobo's original pineapple cake but the pineapple filling is too sweet for my taste. 12 pieces for NT$300 (S$15) is quite expensive.
Every day busloads of tourists come one after another, and sales of its pineapple cakes can be counted by the truckload.
Most of the tourists are from mainland China. Chinese tourists have shocking buying power. Whether it’s Louis Vuitton or small souvenirs, they make a sweep of every shop they visit. It is common for a busload of mainland Chinese tourists to spend between NT$200,000 and $250,000 (S$10,000 - S$ 12,500; US$6,667 - US$8,333) in a single visit.
I bought several boxes of pineapple cakes, mung bean and red bean cakes, milk sun cake, yam and almond nougats which the crew packed and sealed in a box for easy check-in at the airport. I spent NT$3800, hope the tour guide is happy with her commission.
At the Taoyuan International Airport, I discovered they have a branch there. -_-
I love Vigor Kobo's Milk Sun Cake and nougats. The nougats are really fresh and delicious. On the flight back, I finished one box. And my apologies to my relatives and friends if you didn't get the nougats as gift, they are so yummy, I kept them for myself :P
Milk Sun Cake - a flaky, melt-in-your-mouth, sweet puff pastry with a sumptuous malty, milky filling that doesn’t stick to your teeth!
10 pieces for NT$350 (S$17.50)
Nougat - 5 favours to choose from : original, chocolate, almond, yam or sweet potato. I bought the yam nougats and almond nougats. Love its milky, chewy taste. The almonds are fresh and crunchy. The yam is oh-so-fragrant! A packet of nougat costs NT$240 (S$12) Must buy!!
Vigor Kobo Cake Store (Taiwan)