Innovative packaging proves to be as important as content
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.