Ar­rival of the moon­cakes

Pas­try com­pa­nies em­brace in­no­va­tion

Global Times – Metro Shanghai - - FRONT PAGE - Page Ed­i­tor: duqiong­[email protected]­al­times.com.cn

One and a half months ahead of the Mid-Au­tumn Fes­ti­val, some time-hon­ored moon­cakes have al­ready been launched into the mar­ket, the Shang­hai Observer re­ported. Tra­di­tional fla­vors have re­mained at a low price while some new fla­vors have been added to the mar­ket.

Ac­cord­ing to Xinghualou and Xinya, two time-hon­ored brands, be­sides tra­di­tional fla­vors such as sweet­ened bean paste and five ker­nels, both brands have de­vel­oped new fla­vors for young peo­ple such as choco­late, durian and cheese. Al­though the price of pack­ag­ing has in­creased this year, the prices of the clas­sic fla­vored moon­cakes are sim­i­lar to 2017.

The U-turn of five ker­nels

Red bean, five ker­nels, co­conut and lo­tus seed have been the four most pop­u­lar moon­cake fla­vors on the mar­ket. Red bean and five ker­nels have long ranked as the top two fla­vors on the sales chart of Xinghualou’s moon­cakes in­di­vid­u­ally pack­aged. Red bean was even crowned as the “king” of all of Xinghualou’s moon­cakes. In re­cent years, Xinghualou has main­tained its tra­di­tional ap­proach to mak­ing moon­cakes. The in­gre­di­ents used to make red beans in­clude red beans orig­i­nat­ing in Haimen, East China’s Jiangsu Province, which makes the paste red, shiny, soft and smooth.

The brand Xinya, ex­per­i­mented with mix­ing sweet­ened beans with 10-year-old dried tan­ger­ine peels from South China’s Guang­dong Province, which adds to the re­fresh­ing fra­grance and chewy taste to its paste.

Al­though the five ker­nels fla­vor was dis­liked by ne­ti­zens in the past years, it ex­pe­ri­enced a U-turn this year with many in­no­va­tions on its taste.

The rea­son why five ker­nels is frowned upon is that some brands use in­fe­rior in­gre­di­ents while the in­gre­di­ents are the key to the qual­ity of the five ker­nel moon­cake, said a master from Xinghualou.

The five ker­nels used by Xinghualou orig­i­nate from the best farms. They use olive ker­nels from Guang­dong, melon seeds from Cen­tral China’s Hubei Province, wal­nut ker­nels from South­west China’s Yun­nan Province, and al­monds from North­west China’s Xin­jiang Uyghur Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion, which is joined by the meat, fat, and liquor, and leaves a lin­ger­ing fra­grance upon con­sump­tion.

Xinya launched a kind of crust­skinned moon­cake with five ker­nel fill­ings which is served warm. It has sold well in its store on Nan­jing Road East and is fa­vored by both se­niors and young peo­ple.

Creamy paste

Since 2016, creamy paste moon­cake be­came pop­u­lar. Af­ter a bite, the soft, gooey paste flows out. This year, both Xinghualou and Xinya launched new fla­vors of creamy pasted moon­cakes such as co­conut, chest­nut, choco­late, durian, cheese, sesame seed, mango, and sweets­cented os­man­thus.

Chas­ing of qual­ity

As one of the time-hon­ored brands cen­ters on moon­cake, Xinghualou has made moon­cakes since 1927. In 1997, the gen­eral man­ager, Yang Peimin, saved the recipe in a safe at Shang­hai Pudong De­vel­op­ment Bank, which caused quite a stir at that time, ac­cord­ing to the Shang­hai Observer. This move em­bod­ied the great value the brand at­taches to its tra­di­tions and in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights.

Apart from in­her­it­ing the legacy of qual­ity cakes, these time-hon­ored brands also eye in­no­va­tion and qual­ity as­sur­ance. In re­cently years, both Xinghualou and Xinya have in­vested much on the up­grad­ing of their man­u­fac­tur­ing bases.

Xinghualou, for ex­am­ple, added a food in­spec­tion cen­ter to its up­graded fac­tory with fa­cil­i­ties to test for pes­ti­cide residue, an­tifog­ging agents and micro­organ­isms, and to en­sure a safer food pro­cess­ing pro­ce­dure.

In the past two years, Xinya also au­to­mated its food man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity, cut­ting the work­ing staff by two thirds.

“No hands need to touch the prod­ucts in the man­u­fac­tur­ing process,” said a per­son in charge of Xinya.

This story was a trans­la­tion based on a re­port in Shang­hai Observer.

Main: Time-hon­ored moon­cake brand Xinya launches its Dis­neythemed moon­cakes in 2017. In­set: A moon­cake of Xinghualou brand

Pho­tos: VCG

Shang­hai res­i­dents queue up on Nan­jing Road East to buy moon­cakes.

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