Mid-autumn day is the second most important Chinese festival after the Lunar New Year. It is a time for family and friends to get together. It is also a time when people do a lot of shopping!

Today I will share with you a story of how a white collar Chinese guy seized the opportunity and made 10,000 AUD on mid autumn’s day. Did I mention that he did this just through WeChat?

First we need to know a little about moon cakes. During the Yuan Dynasty (A.D. 1280-1368) Chinese rebels fighting against the ruling Mongols ordered the making of a special cake for the Moon Festival. Hidden inside those moon cakes was a message, outlining the plan of attack. The rebellion succeeded and established the Ming Dynasty. Today the tradition of moon cakes remains as a must-have for this festival, symbolizing the reunion of family and friends.

Interestingly, in more recent years, mooncakes have become more of a memento rather than a traditional treat. This is because younger consumers tend to be put off by the ingredients that go into this centuries-old recipe! Dried seeds and hard-boiled egg yolks all coming together in glossy lard encasing somehow, doesn’t appeal to their palette!

The result is everyone buys them in all sorts of fancy packages, to give them to everyone else.

The hero of our story Chen from Shanghai saw this as an opportunity to really reach the hearts and minds of this young audience who loved the tradition behind the moon cakes but didn’t like the taste of this traditional treat. He decided to revive the reputation of mooncakes and to make some money at the same time.

What did he see?

He saw that people were connected to this thousand year old tradition, even the young people. But they tend to shy away from mooncakes due to their outdated presentation and taste.

He understood that the only way to encourage people to be open-minded about mooncakes again was through his network on WeChat on which were all people he knew in real life. From there, he felt, the influence would grow.

He understood that people LOVE to shop for novelty items during such animportant holiday. If he could combine the tradition with a new twist, he would surely succeed.

What he did, was offer mooncakes with different western flavours such as vanilla, strawberry and chocolate.

Collaborating with a bakery, he advertised on his WeChat posts to his entire network of friends, this new age mooncake they would actually enjoy and be happy to give away as presents to their family and friends.

The results were amazing. His friends shared this post and their friends, in turn, shared it with their networks. 

In less than two days, he received thousands of orders which the bakery had to tirelessly work for overnight. He jokingly mentioned that he could quit his day job and do this full time, developing new and simple products for the other important festivals Chinese people love.

The success of this story has led to many big brands introducing new flavours with a western twist; so that, not only the tradition and sentiment remain, but also a growing younger audience can enjoy this wonderful Autumn Moon treat!

By Di Wu

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