How Brands Use Chinese Mooncakes to Sell Luxury

The delicacy known as the mooncake, a round pastry usually made from red bean or lotus seed paste, has been a part of Chinese culture for more than three thousand years. It has been associated with the Mid-Autumn Festival, a celebration of the moon, and consumed in the middle of the eighth month of every lunar year—this year, it falls on October 4.

The tradition of eating mooncake is so deep-rooted in the culture that it’s become a common gift around the holiday, and used to maintain social and professional connections or to return a favor. And Western luxury brands are jumping on the opportunity to help the Chinese celebrate in style by creating campaigns surrounding these holidays and offering elaborately-designed mooncake gift-sets.

A handful of well-known luxury brands have been sending out their specially-curated mooncake gift boxes to high-profile KOLs. And two of them, fashion icons Becky Li and Gogoboi, have begun posting photos of their exquisite mooncake gift sets on social media and thanking the brands. Gogoboi also weighed in, putting these mooncake gift-sets to the test of his discerning taste. Here’s what he said:

Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton mooncakes come in an elegant multi-tier jewelry case-type box with the brand’s logo on top. When you open it, you discover a series of drawers, with a mooncake in each one.
Gogoboi’s comment: “You can have all of my mooncakes, but I want the million dollar-looking box.”

Photo: Courtesy of Gogoboi

 

Armani
Armani mooncakes are packed in box shaped like a traditional Kjeldsen’s butter cookie tin. But instead of metal, the box is made of luxurious padded leather, resembling an 80s vanity box. A gold crescent moon pattern on the lid is a further nod to the holiday.
Gogoboi’s comment: “It’s a modern take on a retro style.”

Photo: Courtesy of Gogoboi

Tod’s
Tod’s has incorporated traditional paper-cutting patterns into its mooncake box this year. A built-in warm-toned light turned the cube-shaped box into a small lantern—another traditional motif of the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Gogoboi’s comment: “Tod’s mooncake packaging puts me in a poetic mood.”

 

Kenzo
Kenzo’s mooncakes are packaged in a minimalistic wooden box with a sliding lid, echoing the French luxury brand’s Japanese roots.
Gogoboi’s comment: “Kenzo’s packaging design falls short compared to other brands. But the custard mooncakes are yummy.”

Photo: Courtesy of Gogoboi

Gucci
Gucci mooncakes come in a rectangular box decorated with a vintage floral-print.  dome-shaped box with colorful floral print all-over. Each of the six mooncakes is wrapped separately in different color packaging. Four animal-themed stamps, nestled in a small drawer in the front, echo the brand’s animal motifs in this year’s collections.
Gogoboi’s comment: “This floral heavy print cannot be more Alessandro Michele”

Photo: Courtesy of Gogoboi

Fendi
Fendi’s mooncake gift box has a high-tech wow factor installed inside the compact drawer-style box: there is a small projector built into the box that will project Fendi’s new logo for its 2017 fall/winter collection.
Gogoboi’s comment: “This has got to be the most technologically sophisticated mooncake I’ve received this year.”

Tiffany & Co.
Tiffany housed its mooncakes in its signature blue box. The giant blue jewelry box containing four mooncakes comes with a functioning lock and a tiny Tiffany silver key.
Gogoboi’s comment: “I lowered my expectation since last year’s unmet expectation (thinking that there will be four diamond rings inside the box).”

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Culture, Marketing & Branding, Trending, Trending in China