Novelty fillings boost Shanghai mooncake sales
THANKS to imported beef, crayfish and durian, the mooncake industry in
Shanghai is embracing a bumper year, despite industry insiders' previously gloomy forecasts.
Unusually hot weather and an early Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on Sept 15 this year, should have made it more difficult to sell mooncakes, according to Chen Fengwei, secretary-general of
the Shanghai Confectionery Industry Association.
But chefs in traditional restaurants and
luxury hotels in Shanghai are bucking the trend
by filling the traditionally dense pastries with
At Hotel Indigo Shanghai, for example,
within one month the sales of its wagyu marbled beef mooncake had already exceeded the
total sales of traditional mooncakes last year.
The meaty mooncakes sell for 18 yuan (S$3.60) each.
On Nanjing Road, a line forms outside the traditional Cantonese Xinya Restaurant as
impatient customers hanker after its newly
launched yanduxian mooncakes.
Taking inspiration from Shanghai's beloved yanduxian soup, which is made from pork and bamboo shoots, the mooncakes were a hit
as soon as they were launched.
The Peninsula Shanghai hotel is also joining
the fray with a new handmade durian mooncake,
an upgrade on its popular egg custard variety.
At Wang Bao He, a century-old restaurant known for crab dishes, all 6,000 boxes of
crayfish mooncakes had been pre-ordered
following a mid-July launch.
Each box of 12 cakes sells for 180 yuan.
Outside the restaurant, scalpers have raised
the price to 350 yuan a box.
Mr Chen estimated that the city will sell
21,000 metric tonnes of mooncakes this year,
up 0.5 per cent from last year.
"The situation is far better than we expected.
"With multiple adverse conditions, we thought there might be a drop from last year," he said.
Since 2013, when the central government's anti-corruption drive led to a dramatic decrease in government-paid junkets and officials accepting gifts, the mooncake industry has experienced a sharp plunge, down by 15 to 20 per cent nationally.
CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK