Monday, September 12, 2011

The state of mooncakes and chinese tea

Today is the mid autumn festival. In Singapore, this festival is mainly celebrated by the eating of mooncakes and children carrying lanterns in the evenings. In the weekend newspaper, there was an article on mooncakes (click pix 1 for enlarged view). I noticed that the prices of these delicious sweet pastries have gone up substantially over these 3 years since I started this tea blog. It used to be $30 for 4 its close to $45-50. Yes, ingredients to make the cakes are now more expensive, but it is pretty obvious that the use of elaborate and intricate packaging had made the prices of these cakes over the moon. Looking at the above pix, you see mooncakes being packed in a chinese lantern, pix of celebrities on the box of one, and artistic designs in pix 2/3. Its difficult to make an argument, that such elaborate packaging is a waste, if the bottom line shows good profit for the mooncake bakeries.

Anyway, I had also noticed that people here in Singapore are warming up to the use of using the internet when shopping. My wife used Groupon, to purchased a box of mooncakes (pix2) which gave some savings. I find that its quite useful especially when an item you need can yield some savings. Hold tight to your credit cards as impulsive buying may make a hole in your pocket.

The bigger Chinese tea factories have also introduced some elaborate marketing strategies especially these 2 years. You would have noticed that for pu erh tea, there is an increase in special edition cakes. You have the gold labels, tinned and special wrapper versions, anniversary and commemorative cakes. I like to point out that these pu erh cakes/bricks do sell well. Collectors 'chase' after these cakes as they deemed these cakes as investments. Some of these tea were also bought and kept as trophies in their living room. I suppose it makes the house more cultured (joke joke). Its interesting to note that buying to drink these tea is not considered during such a purchase. Just my 2 cents worth of thoughts.

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