Mid-Autumn Festival Sees Rise in “Light Food + Light Packaging” Mooncakes, Reflecting Health-conscious Consumption Trends
YINCHUAN, September 29 – This year’s Mid-Autumn Festival has seen a shift in the mooncake market, with consumers gravitating towards “light food + light packaging” options. From packaging to cake bodies, mooncakes have become lighter, incorporating healthier elements while still preserving their delicious flavors. This change reflects the Chinese people’s growing preference for health, thrift, and simplicity in their consumption.
In a Yinchuan City supermarket in Ningxia, the bulk mooncake section is bustling with customers pushing their shopping carts, all eager to buy their favorite mooncakes. Ms. Li, a customer, carefully selects mooncakes with different flavors, highlighting the importance of this traditional festival staple. “Mooncakes are high in calories and sugar, and can negatively impact health. However, the Mid-Autumn Festival is a significant celebration, and it wouldn’t be complete without mooncakes. They add a sense of ritual to the festivities,” she explains.
As the trend of reducing oil and sugar gains momentum, mooncake companies are recognizing the need to adapt their recipes while maintaining traditional flavors. Various e-commerce platforms showcase mooncakes using “whole wheat,” “coarse grains,” and “100% zero sucrose” as selling points. Additionally, many low-sugar mooncakes have replaced white sugar with substitutes like xylitol and maltitol, providing a healthier option for consumers who wish to indulge in these festive treats without the guilt.
Lin Jidi, the general manager of Yinchuan Yinfeng Food Co., Ltd., reveals that consumers’ preference for concise ingredient lists and a focus on healthier lifestyles with reduced oil and sugar consumption influenced their product development. The multigrain mooncakes introduced this year have been met with high demand, aligning with the current low-sugar and health-conscious consumption concept.
Apart from reducing sugar and “burden,” mooncake packaging has undergone a significant transformation in the past two years. Cheng Hong, a shopping guide at a local supermarket, states that bulk mooncakes, with their affordable prices and various flavors, have gained popularity among consumers. Boxed mooncake packaging has also become simpler, eliminating unnecessary compartments and decorations, resulting in reduced prices.
In the mooncake sales area of the aforementioned supermarket, boxed mooncakes are priced between 100 and 300 yuan, while individual bulk mooncakes are priced under 10 yuan. The market now sees fewer “high-end” mooncakes priced above 500 yuan.
A notable trend observed this year is the rising popularity of small-sized “mini mooncakes.” These mooncakes are roughly half the size of traditional ones, enabling consumers to enjoy them in one or two bites, thus avoiding waste. Their smaller and cuter shapes have captivated many consumers, making them a new favorite during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Qiu Juandong, deputy dean of the School of Economics and Management at Ningxia University, believes that the trend of low-sugar and lightweight mooncake consumption reflects a growing desire for healthier, moderate, and simplistic food choices. This trend also underscores the increasing alignment between supply and demand within the food consumer market. For mooncake manufacturers, it encourages a stronger emphasis on product quality, taste improvement, and technological advancements, ultimately bridging the gap between consumers and manufacturers.
The rise of “light food + light packaging” mooncakes not only brings a fresh perspective to the Mid-Autumn Festival market but also reveals a positive shift towards healthier and more sustainable consumption habits among Chinese consumers.
(Editor: Liu Peng)