Crossovers between consumer goods and fashion have become commonplace for brands aiming to rebrand themselves and expand their consumer bases. Collaborations like Supreme x Skittles, Fila x Starbucks, Innisfree x Glico, or Dove x McCafé have diversified fashion and beauty players’ product portfolios and driven social buzz around new drops.
With this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival just around the corner, the traditional occasion for family reunions will surely be an indispensable opportunity for brands to impress their Chinese shoppers. As Jing Daily’s latest report, Chinese Cultural Consumers: The Future of Luxury, points out, modern consumer goods infused with Chinese cultural elements as key selling points have shaped the country’s booming guochao (or national trend) scene. As such, brands must incorporate Chinese heritage and showcase a dedication to traditional culture when tapping into nostalgia trends.
Among the marketing tactics used to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, mooncake gift boxes are the most common. However, making mooncakes with authentic flavors is not as easy as designing their boxes. As such, brands would maximize their interests by collaborating with homegrown Chinese consumer goods companies or local restaurants rather than making their own mooncakes.
Among the mooncake collaborations this year, cultural institutions have been taking the lead. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Shanghai Museums partnered with China’s largest snack food retailer, Lyfen, to launch mooncake boxes inspired by objects in each museum collection. More interestingly, the collaboration was endorsed by Lyfen’s brand ambassador, Wang Yibo, and released on Tmall’s Little Black Box (the platform’s gateway for product debuts).
The Louvre Museum teamed up with Häagen-Dazs China to roll out ice-cream mooncakes themed after masterpieces from the museum’s collection, such as the Venus de Milo and Mona Lisa. Meanwhile, Häagen-Dazs’ Tmall users can visit virtual Louvre exhibitions and engage in lottery drawings, where they can win complimentary mooncakes and cultural products by the Louvre.
Elsewhere, the video game Game For Peace has collaborated with the most well-known Beijing pastry maker, Dao Xiang Cun, to drop a mooncake box with both Canton and Suzhou-style desserts.
In addition to cultural players, fashion brands have connected with local food partners in China in time for Mid-Autumn celebrations. In August, Anna Sui Active, alongside the two-Michelin-starred contemporary French restaurant L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Shanghai, co-launched a mooncake box with six fusion flavors, as well as a porcelain plate with the designer’s signature purple floral prints. These locally recognized pastries and restaurants are not only quality-proof options for brands outside the food industry, but they help them resonate with Chinese consumers worldwide.
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