Branded mooncakes: The newest trend for Mid-Autumn marketing?

The Mid-Autumn Festival which celebrates the autumn harvest, is synonymous with mooncakes. These soft cakes are handed out as gifts marked with characters that represent “harmony” or “longevity” and are seen as a mark of status for some.

Often beautifully packaged, mooncakes have now become corporate gifts handed out to business partners and clients in our industry to mark the importance of a relationship. Today gourmet flavours and special hampers are created and of course, much like branded ang pao’s handed out during Chinese New Year, the occasion has given another opportunity to brands to stamp on their branding, and  build a rapport with their target audience.

According to QYResearch, as of 2018, the global mooncake market value was at US$1.64 billion dollars, and it is expected to reach US$1.9 billion in 2025, with an annual growth rate of 4%. Meanwhile, mooncake gift boxes are most commonly used for marketing. However, brands hoping to reach the Chinese consumer have now partnered with restaurants to create bespoke tastes and branded products. For example The Met and Shanghai Museums partnered with snack food retailer, Lyfen, to launch mooncake boxes inspired by objects the museums' collection. Meanwhile, the Louvre Museum teamed up with Häagen-Dazs China to roll out ice cream mooncakes that feature goddesses throughout art history.

Awfully Chocolate x Warner Bros (Harry Potter)

Local cake shop Awfully Chocolate collaborated with Warner Bros To release Harry Potter themed mooncakes this festive season. The Harry Potter Mooncake Chest is the first in the world, and comes with tins bearing the crests of each house, with the respective houses decorated on the mooncakes as well. For diehards fans of the "Wizarding World", the Harry Potter Collector's Edition Chest includes matching collectable Hogwarts Houses ceramic plates made to fit each mooncake and golden sporks. The Collector's Edition Chest also comes with a certificate of authenticity as an official Wizarding World product.

harrypotter set harrypotterexset

 

Cheers and FairPrice Xpress x Sanrio

Sanrio launched a series of mooncakes in Singapore last month, for sale exclusively at Cheers and FairPrice Xpress outlets. The Beauty My Melody Lunch Bag comes in a bucket shaped lunch bag and two molten lava mooncakes with My Melody patterns on them. Meanwhile, the Hello Kitty Collector Gift Box includes Hello Kitty-patterned mooncakes that are individually packaged in little themed boxes and come in a stunning red gift box. Sanrio fanatics may favour the more extravagant Sanrio Odyssey Music Box, which comes in a pink music box and an attached rocketship with Sanrio characters My Melody and Hello Kitty in it. The mooncakes adorn alien spaceship patterns as well. 

sanrio cheers

 

Foodpanda

foodpanda Malaysia launched its very own pandamart mooncakes that closely represent the traditionally handmade mooncakes. The packaging had a cut out of a panda head to let consumers peek at the flavours. Available in selected pandamart outlets nationwide, users can now look forward to purchasing these one of a kind mooncakes for their family and friends and have it delivered right to their doorstep

pandamart

Glenfiddich

Glenfiddich released its limited-edition collection of snow skin mooncakes, created in partnership with creative agency Chun Tsubaki. The mooncakes contain four whisky-filled pastries of two flavours each with a  recognisable Glenfiddich logo. Designed specially for the occasion, each gift box is inspired by the tasting notes of Glenfiddich’s flagship expressions, said the brand. 

glenfiddich snow skin mooncakes 1 sq

 

Häagen-Dazs

To celebrate the upcoming Mooncake Festival, Häagen-Dazs launched a new series of expertly-crafted ice cream mooncakes, which are available for sale in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. The mooncake ice creams come in a variety of flavours offered in six different sets, and all have a white rabbit decorated on them. Meanwhile, it also partnered with the Louvre Museum in China to roll out ice cream mooncakes that feature goddesses throughout art history, such as the Venus and the Mona Lisa.

hhagen dazs

 

St. Regis KL x Swarovski

St. Regis Kuala Lumpur dazzled up its mooncakes by tying up with crystal brand Swarovski for a crystal-studded packaging for this year's Mid-Autumn Festival. The limited-edition Swarovski super mooncake trunk is designed with a unique diamond pattern that represents the brand's richness and luxury, embellished with 307 silk and silk shimmer Swarovski crystals. According to the spokesperson, this is a nod to Caroline Astor's love for diamonds and her jewellery collection. Caroline Astor is the mother of St. Regis founder John Jacob Astor IV. The partnership first came about in 2019.

stregisxswarovski

 

Shopee Singapore

Shopee launched a mooncake vending machine in Plaza Singapore, a first in Singapore. Shopee’s Vend-A-Mooncake Machine allows shoppers to get a taste of any mooncake sample for just SG$1. Shopee users can also stand a chance to win premium mooncakes, vouchers and Shopee coins worth up to SG$35,000. The vending machine will be available from 10-16 September.

 shopeemachine

Separately, branded mooncakes have been gaining so much popularity that counterfeit branded mooncakes have started to circulate in the market. Recently, Hong Kong Customs seized a total of 114 boxes of suspected counterfeit mooncakes with an estimated market value of about HK$650,000, and arrested four people. The mooncakes seized included counterfeit Louis Vuitton mooncakes, counterfeit mooncakes from catering company Maxim’s and conterfeit Peninsula Hotel mooncakes.

Have you seen any other unconventional mooncake partnerships? Hit us up at deepas@marketing-interactive.com 

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