This year’s Mid-Autumn Festival is distinct to citizens, as it marks the first national celebration after China left the COVID-19 pandemic behind. The holiday also falls on October 1, which is the country’s National Day and the beginning of Golden Week. Therefore, Luxury brands were eager to leverage this eight-day national holiday by delivering specialties to their valued customers and business associates.
The luxury mooncake gift box arena has been heating up with China becoming one of the most significant regional markets in the post-pandemic era. Compared to previous mooncake iterations, we saw brands showcase more thorough interpretations of Chinese culture and aesthetics this year on their package designs while also incorporating aspects that resonated with younger customers’ appetite for newness. Below, Jing Daily reviews the efforts of seven luxury brand’s mooncake gift boxes with verdicts based on brand specialties, cultural interpretations, mooncake flavors, and customer impressions.
Gucci drew inspiration from sophisticated ancient Chinese food boxes for this year’s mooncake gift box, which consists of three drawers with copper handles and doors with carved stars. Antique finish and the Gucci trademark are applied to the package, blending the house aesthetic with traditional craft. The mooncake flavors are made from traditional Chinese materials like salt, egg yolk, and bean paste, while also incorporating Western elements like black truffle and prosciutto.
The highlight of the box is the bottom layer, which houses Chinese incense and a censer that has been shaped into a three-dimensional hare. Incense and a censer are a symbolic duo that was frequently featured at significant gatherings in Chinese culture. Overall, Gucci’s Mid-Autumn Festival gift box showcases a well-balanced interpretation of modern Chinese consumer preferences, as well as the house’s thorough and extensive knowledge of Chinese traditional culture.
Fendi rolled out two sets of mooncake boxes that are both furnished with creativity, engagement, and functionality. Distinguished from the usual cube-shaped packaging, Fendi instead features the shape of cylindrical lanterns. One box can create a Milky Way effect in the dark with mooncakes inside while the other draws inspiration from traditional Chinese hand-held lanterns, offering a transparent bowtie inside and four mooncakes beneath the lamp. Both echo Mid-Autumn festival decor yet also bring added-value experiences to customers.
Dior’s mooncake gift box is under the theme of “Chang’e flying to the moon,” which is the most widely told Mid-Autumn Festival legend. When opening the box with a pair of Chinese knot tassels in red, a three-dimensional paper cutting of the lady Chang’e and her “jade hare” stands up, while six mooncakes are molded with the brand’s letters and “CD” logo lay beneath. The box is colored midnight blue and decorated with sophisticated illustrations inside the box. The presentation vividly stages this ancient narrative with authentic Chinese representations to celebrate the festival.
Valentino’s mooncake gift box is a clever interpretation of an oriental aesthetic, with elegant and blue and white trim that references Chinese Qing Hua Ci (blue and white pottery). The pattern of Grace Blue – from the Maison's 2020 Fall collection – embodies the art of the most recognizable motifs in the world of pottery: Delft Blue. When opening the box, a folding fan stands along with two mooncakes and a tea caddy. While the amount of mooncakes offered is less than its peers, the companion of tea is consistent with the Chinese convention of pairing mooncakes with tea drinks.
Louis Vuitton launched two different versions of Mid-Autumn Festival gift boxes this year. One continues its childlike approach from last year by featuring a music box along with the mooncakes. Louis Vuitton's charming mascot, Vivienne sunflower doll, takes center stage in the gift box where she’s surrounded by background prints of Chinese lanterns. The other features the house’s signature hard-sided suitcases with monogram prints as well as a stamped standard greeting note inside the box that reads “Happy Mid-Autumn Day.” While this set presents a higher-end look than the former, the lack of Chinese cultural references makes it less relevant.
Giorgio Armani embraced traditional Chinese architecture for this Mid-Autumn Festival. The shape of its gift box takes inspiration from carved wooden windows in Ancient China. After enjoying four mini lotus seed paste and yolk mooncakes, customers can DIY the wooden racks into a photo frame by following a manual provided inside the box. Many customers also found that the rack can function as a Chinese-style display case.
This year, Tiffany & Co.’s presentation was inspired by the subways of New York City. The package featured Tiffany blue with Manhattan skyline illustrations and a pink hare popping her head out of a train. Inside, four cars of the “Take me to Tiffany” train (each loading mooncakes) are linked with detachable magnets. The flavor of mooncakes is lava egg custard, which is one of the most popular mooncake fillings on the domestic market. Though the brand merely includes the hare element as a reference to Chinese culture this year, the lively toy trains were well-received by customers who received the gift box.