In­no­va­tive pack­ag­ing proves to be as im­por­tant as con­tent

China Daily (Canada) - - HOLIDAY - ByWUYIYAO in Shang­hai

When21-year-oldZhaoLiyao went gift shop­ping in Shang­hai’s Ci­ty­su­per su­per­mar­ket, she was sur­prised to find her fa­vorite brand of milk tof­fee be­ing of­fered for sale in pack­ag­ing de­signed by Agnes.b, her fa­vorite fash­ion brand.

Im­pressed to see Da Bai Tu, a tra­di­tion­al­snack­fromher­child­hood pre­sented so beau­ti­fully, Zhao bought three boxes for her friends in theUnited States.

“Da Bai Tu is a sym­bol of Shang­hai, my home­town,’’ she said. “I’ve no­ticed that in China, an in­creas­ing num­ber of foods and bev­er­ages are now be­ing beau­ti­fully pre­sented, so they can be given as gifts to be shared with friends.’’

Yu Lifen, a shop as­sis­tant who works at Shang­hai’s No 1 Food Store, which sells prod­ucts from re­gions through­out China, said food man­u­fac­tur­ers are plac­ing in­creas­ing im­por­tance on pre­sen­ta­tion.

“When food was in scarcity, prod­ucts were stored in glass jars to lure con­sumers,’’ Yu said. “Now food is am­ple, so prod­ucts are hid­den in del­i­cately made boxes, wooden chests, wrapped in gold foils, tied with silk rib­bons to im­press con­sumers with a sense of qual­ity and pres­tige.”

Branding and mar­ket­ing are key to re­ju­ve­nat­ing tra­di­tional, lo­cal food, ac­cord­ing to food sec­tor an­a­lysts. As well as bet­ter pack­ag­ing de­signs, in­no­va­tive recipeswith­in­flu­ences­from­fur­ther afield are also prov­ing pop­u­lar with fans of lo­cal snacks.

Mai Wen­hao, a 28-year-old pro­gram­mer from Guangzhou, buys two dozen mung bean cake­sa­month, but­wasper­suaded to try a new ver­sion con­tain­ing cran­ber­ries and mixed nuts.

“They are de­li­cious,’’ saidMai. “I bought two boxes for when I vis­ited my un­cle in New York. He and his friends loved it.’’

The vari­a­tion on the mung bean cake recipe was de­vel­oped by staff at Su­garMill, a Shen­zhen-based pas­try out­let.

“Chat­ting with friends and fam­ily while sip­ping tea and eat­ing pas­try is a daily rou­tine that res­i­dents in Guang­dong en­joy,’’ saidMai. “A pas­try that bears the lo­cal her­itage as well as a wider range of in­gre­di­ents that are wel­comed by peo­ple from all over the world is ex­actly to the point of shar­ing.’’

Da Bai Tu is a sym­bol of Shang­hai, my home­town.”


Left: A woman tastes vin­tage red wine at the Palais de la Bourse in Bor­deaux, south-eastern France at an expo where around 50 wine pro­duc­ers from the Graves re­gion of Bor­deaux present their red and white vin­tage wines. Right: Bor­deaux wines on show.

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