Luxury mooncake gift sets have reappeared at high-end hotels and shopping malls in major cities in China, reports the Guangzhou-based Southern Daily.
Mooncake sales in the country plummeted in 2013 after the government launched its anti-extravagance campaign banning officials from using government funds to pamper themselves and their colleagues with lavish gifts, banquets and other high-end amenities.
The high-priced gift sets, however, have returned. A luxury hotel near Chang’an Avenue in Beijing is selling gift sets containing ten mooncakes, a bottle of imported wine and two premium teas. Another high-end hotel in the capital is offering a 1,000 yuan (US$155) mooncake set, including mooncake with abalone fillings, shark fin soup and truffles.
Customers are reportedly not deterred by the high prices. One customer bought 20 luxury mooncake gift sets priced at 498 yuan (US$77) each at the Furama Hotel in Dalian.
Extravagant packaging is one of the most noticeable features of the sets. A 1,688 yuan (US$260) gift set comes with a red wooden case containing four mooncakes, a package of premium tea, two boxes of abalone, two bottles of edible bird’s nest and two boxes of premium chocolate. Another set made by a hotel in Beijing is wrapped in a vintage leather case in the color of the customer’s choosing. The boxes are adorned with the Chinese expressions for “celebrate prosperity,” “luxury and respect,” or “career success.”
The gift sets have made their debut online as well, said the report. Mooncake vouchers priced above 1,000 yuan (US$155) each were available on online shopping websites and WeChat’s shopping platform. Group-buying discounts are also available for the sets.