Erik Frankel and his employees making metallic jewelry at the workshop in District 2, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/ Hanh Pham The Golden Star Balm is a yesteryear product in Vietnam. Called cao sao vang in Vietnamese, it was once the only balm used across Vietnam to treat headaches, cold, arthritis and other pains. But, for many years now, it had all but disappeared under a deluge of imported substitutes that flooded the market in the mid to late nineties. However, last year, this made-in-Vietnam product was selling like hotcakes in the US, and most people were buying it from retail titan Amazon. This unusual revival made headlines, with the minute red tin with a yellow star in the middle commanding prices as much as 35 times higher than in the local market. The manufacturer OPC Pharma then, with public praises ringing in its ears, frankly said that it was not the mastermind behind the rise of the balm. It was small distributors like New York City-born Erik Frankel that embraced online selling platforms to promote the product internationally. “The balm is among thousands of made-in-Vietnam products that we have sold on global e-commerce sites,” Frankel told VnExpress at… Read full this story
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