MILLI’s Coachella performance inspires skyrocketing sales of mango sticky rice in Thailand

Thailand may even push for the dessert to be recognised by UNESCO as a cultural heritage element

Rapper MILLI has inspired skyrocketing sales of mango sticky rice in Thailand after her landmark appearance at Coachella, where she dug into a bowl of the iconic dessert onstage.

MILLI ate from a bowl of mango sticky rice onstage at Coachella on Saturday (April 16) while performing a song named after the dessert during 88rising’s Head In The Clouds Forever set. The set went viral on Thai social media – and in the days following has manifested in rising sales of the dessert in Thailand.

The Guardian reported that the particularly well-known Mae Varee store in Bangkok received so many delivery orders for the dessert that police arrived at the store, concerned delivery riders were blocking traffic, while Thai PBS World has reported a mango sticky rice seller in Patum Thani’s agricultural centre of Simummuang Market had to peel 80kg of mangoes in a day – four times the usual amount.

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Zhao Xinming of Line Man Wongnai’s food delivery app also told the Bangkok Post that he expected the upward trend of mango sticky rice sales to last for two months in conjunction with the current mango season and MILLI’s viral performance. His service reported tripled sales of the dessert on their app in the 24 hours following the rapper’s performance.

On top of skyrocketing sales, MILLI’s performance could even lead Thailand to propose mango sticky rice a cultural heritage element for recognition by UNESCO. According to Bernama, Thai Director-General of Cultural Promotion Department Chai Nakornchai said his department has plans to push for the dessert to be recognised by UNESCO.

When asked about the proposal on Monday (April 18), Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha – who in 2021 pressed defamation charges against MILLI over her comments on his management of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a 2,000 baht fine for the rapper – said the decision was under consideration, adding: “It’s important for Thailand to use its soft power abroad. We have plenty of resources that can be promoted on the international stage.”

MILLI reportedly said on Monday that she couldn’t believe the mango sticky rice craze was real, half-jokingly urging vendors not to raise their prices.

The mango sticky rice craze has even spilt over to diplomatic missions in Thailand, Thai PBS World reports, with the Thai embassies of the United States and Sweden sharing memes and videos related to the dessert.

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Coachella continues this weekend, with 88rising’s second set taking place April 23. The label’s first Head In The Clouds set was eventful for reasons beyond mango sticky rice, with K-pop girl group 2NE1 reuniting during leader CL’s set to perform their hit ‘I Am The Best’, and Indonesian singer NIKI dedicating a cover of Andra and The Backbone’s ‘Sempurna’ to her family and home country.

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