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Smaller, low-calorie mooncakes popular as Chinese avoid extravagance, overweight

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-10-05 07:39

Mooncakes that contain pickled Chinese cabbage with bullfrog are on sale in Shanghai, Aug 6, 2017. [Photo/IC]


Less packaging has not stopped mooncakes filling from becoming richer and diversified. Creative, sometimes unconventional, flavors have appeared in recent years to woo curious young customers.

This year, some brands are selling mooncakes that contain crawfish, pickled Chinese cabbage with bullfrog, or beef with Chinese chili pepper.

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.

Even home-made mooncakes from a hospital canteen in southwest China's Guizhou Province have attracted huge crowds -- delivery services are waiting at the canteen door to collect freshly-baked mooncakes for passionate food-lovers.

Apart from traditional brands such as Beijing's Daoxiangcun, Xinghualou in Shanghai, and Zhiweiguan in Hangzhou, a Hong Kong brand, Meixin, has won the hearts of young Chinese with its signature salted egg custard mooncakes. Foreign companies, including Oreo, Starbucks and Haagen-Dazs, have also joined the market with their unique mooncake flavors.

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.

Healthier mooncakes are also gaining popularity. Those that use xylitol instead of sugar are enjoyed by people with diabetes, and many bakeries have started accepting orders to tailor-make mooncakes for customers.

A graduate of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, ordered a box of mooncakes with the school emblem pressed into the mold. Mr. Liu in Hefei, capital of east China's Anhui Province, ordered buckwheat mooncakes for his father who suffers from hyperglycemia.

"Our life is getting richer and more colorful, just like the diverse flavors of the mooncakes," said Liu.

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