Exotic moon cakes delight Chinese taste buds
TAIYUAN, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) – Like most Chinese, moon cake is a staple for Wang Qiong at the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival, which is usually marked by family reunions, taking advantage of the full moon and eating delicacy.
But this year, she decided to bring home some frozen moon cakes from HÃ¤agen-Dazs.
“They have a keen eye for design inside and out, and I’ve wanted to buy some for a long time,” Wang said, picking up his reserved moon cakes from a HÃ¤agen-Dazs store in Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi province (northern China).
In August, HÃ¤agen-Dazs China and the Louvre in France jointly rolled out seven specially designed ice cream moon cake sets, showcasing iconic collections from the museum, including the Louvre Pyramid and “Mona Lisa”, the chef. -work of Leonardo da Vinci.
Trendy products quickly went viral among Chinese youth, bringing new life to China’s traditional moon cake industry.
Newcomers to foreign competition sensed the new windfall for the traditional Chinese festival. American fast food chain Pizza Hut co-launched moon cakes with the Summer Palace, a sprawling Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) Imperial Garden and a popular tourist attraction in Beijing, while Hyatt Hotels Corp. has partnered with the Shanghai Museum to exhibit ancient Chinese art through pastry.
In addition, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Shanghai Museum, as well as the Chinese snack chain LYFEN, have designed mooncake gift boxes inspired by cultural relics.
The gift box contains elements inspired by world famous paintings in the outer packaging and moon cakes with designs similar to museum collections. Notably, ingredients common in the cuisines of Western countries such as oats, black truffles and cheese can also be enjoyed in moon cakes, according to LYFEN.
The Chinese moon cake market is booming, as statistics released by iiMedia Research suggest that the total sales volume of moon cakes increased from 13.18 billion yuan (about $ 2.04 billion) in 2015. to about 20.52 billion yuan in 2020. The figure is expected to reach 21.81. billion yuan this year.
Mooncake products that combine traditional and foreign elements and contain trendy ingredients will continue to top the charts as the most sought-after products in the consumer market, according to Zhang Shuai, vice president and general secretary of the Chinese Bakery and Confectionery Industry Association.
“The popularity of moon cakes with rich cultural content reflects the changes in Chinese consumers and the continued upgrading of the country’s consumption structure,” said Zhu Danpeng, a Chinese food industry analyst.
Foreign brands and institutions need to introduce more personalized and localized products to catch up with the growing Chinese market and its consumers, Zhu added.