Sales of lavish mooncake gift sets decline

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, October 4, 2017
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China's major mooncake makers have all cut back on the production of luxury mooncake gift boxes this year, catering to a growing trend for more cost-effective festival food due to the impact of the government's frugality campaign.

Statistics from, an e-commerce platform, showed that the sales volume of mooncake gift sets priced from 200 to 300 yuan (30 to 45 U.S. dollars) declined by 17 percent this year, while that for cheaper mooncakes surged by 25 percent., another leading e-commerce company, said that its sales volume of luxury mooncake sets is down 75 percent from last year, while that of regular boxes rose by 21 percent.

Eating mooncakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on Wednesday, has been a tradition in China for hundreds of years.

However, expensive gift boxes of the small round pastries became associated with corruption, subtle bribery and extravagance as companies and individuals exchanged them with customers and business partners to build relationships.

Five years after the Chinese government established the eight-point frugality code rejecting extravagance and excessive formalities among party members, lavish mooncake gift sets began to disappear from the market, and consumption of cheaper alternatives gained steam.

At Guangzhou Friendship Store, a salesperson said that many customers prefer to buy mooncakes in bulk, which costs much less than purchasing gift sets.

The majority of the mooncakes sets for sale in the store are simply packed and priced below 200 yuan.

Wang Fen from Qiaojiashan Bakery, the largest mooncake producer in Jiangxi Province, said that upscale mooncake gift sets priced over 300 yuan contributed less than one percent of their total sales this year.

Quanjude Fangshan Food Company, a subsidiary of the famous peking duck company China Quanjude Group, put 35 different mooncake sets on the market this year, with duck-meat mooncakes costing 86 yuan per box, according to marketing supervisor Tian Wenhua.

Another well-known pastry maker Daoxiangcun has made its mooncakes smaller this year to avoid waste, according to spokesperson Gao Fei.

Industry insiders said the domestic mooncake market has been in doldrums during the past two years. Major mooncake makers must change their product strategy to supply more high quality and affordable mooncakes in order to sustain their business.

"As mooncakes are no longer public expenses, there is no market for luxury mooncake gift sets," said Xu Hang from Tianjin-based Nankai University.

Every holiday is significant in the fight against extravagance and all Chinese should play their part in the frugal consumption trend, said Zhao Ping, a researcher from the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

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