China’s Sweet Mooncake Mania

September is right around the corner and that means Mooncake Mania in China.

Back in 2010, I wrote a post about China’s Mid-Autumn Festival, which is also the time of year for giving and eating mooncakes. At the time, I had no idea that Haagen-Dazs sold the most sought after modern version of this Chinese traditional treat.

My wife learned from a friend in China of the popularity of Haagen-Dazs and mentioned the mooncakes, so I did some scooping for this post. Mooncakes are traditional gifts to friends, family and clients during the Chinese mid-autumn festival, and Haagen-Dazs’s Mooncakes have shown a 25% annual growth in sales since they were first introduced in 1997 and represented 28% of Haagen-Dazs’s revenue every year!

Fast forward to 2015 and over 50% of the Chinese people have now heard of Haagen-Dazs—that’s more than 650 million people or more than twice the population of the United States.

Mooncake Mania for China’s September Holiday

Kai Ryssdal reported for American Public Media’s Marketplace that China’s mid-Autumn Festival and tradition of eating mooncakes has become an underground business possibly worth billions.

Marketplace’s Shanghai correspondent Rob Schmitz says mooncakes carry about a thousand calories and most of the cakes bought are gifts as a way to show respect to business partners and people you want to be close to.

Imagine the size of the market—more than 1.3 billion people, which explains why Starbucks, Nestle and Dairy Queen got into the business of selling mooncakes in China too. In fact, Starbucks offers espresso and hazelnut mooncakes; Godiva promotes a chocolate variety; Häagen-Dazs features cookies-and-cream ice cream mooncakes.

2009 Haagen-Dazs Chinese Mooncake Commercial

Industry groups estimate that mooncakes bring in $2 billion in annual sales in greater China, accounting for 200,000 metric tons (about 220,400 tons) of production each season. – New York Times


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

#1 - Joanna Daneman review posted June 19 2014

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4 Responses to China’s Sweet Mooncake Mania

  1. Debbie says:

    the Haagan Daz mooncakes really are the best. i was given some some years back- very delicious. also very expensive, which is why I havent eaten them since. Much nicer than the original variety. They were also reflecting Chinese culture – they were the 月亮 和 七星 – one for the moon and one for the seven stars of the big dipper.
    Very yum!

  2. Michael B. says:

    Not a word about the hundreds of human rights lawyers and advocates arrested in recent weeks? I guess it’s better to just cover the lighter side of things, huh?

    • Read the ABOUT page for this Blog. That page will tell you that I don’t cover what the rest of the traditional media in the U.S. reports about China. I focus on the other side of China the media in the U.S. seldom if ever reports on—all of its people, its culture and history.

      I focus on the rest of China’s 1.3+ billion people instead of a few hundred lawyers who are labeled human rights advocates. I focus on the fact that China has done more to reduce poverty in the world than any country on the planet. I focus on the fact that China’s middle class now outnumbers the entire population of the United States. I focus on the fact that China’s current authoritarian government is the first government in its history that has ever done anything to improve the standard of living for all the country’s people and not just the 1% that Chang Kai-shek Nationalist government supported. And don’t throw at me how prosperous Taiwan is. Chang Kai-shek ruled Taiwan’s ruthlessly under harsh military martial law as a dictator for life. He died in 1976 and Taiwan didn’t hold its first democratic election until the 1990s.

      Historically, China is known as the land of famines. More than 2,000 years of recorded imperial history documents that China has suffered from droughts and famines annually until after 1960 when China suffered from its last famine.

      Why don’t we hear about the poverty and suffering in India in the U.S. media instead of the arrests of a few hundred so-called human rights lawyers in China? What are those human rights that China is accused of violating—freedom to criticize the Chinese government and freedom to pick any religion on the earth to worship with? It can’t be the freedom to travel outside China because more Chinese are traveling around the world to other countries than anyone else—more than a 100 million leave China as tourists annually. It can’t be the right to work and improve the quality of their lifestyles because China is responsible for 90% of global poverty reduction.

      No, no, the US media must condemn China’s authoritarian government because it limits the freedom to criticize what that government’s doing to improve the lifestyles of as many Chinese people as possible. When the Chinese Communist Party came to power in China, the average lifespan was age 35. Today it is in the 70s. When the CCCP came to power, 95% of Chinese lived in extreme poverty after being ruled by the Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists for decades.

      Yes, the CCP limits the rights of its citizen to criticize the policies of the government. What would happen in China if the CCP didn’t do this to keep the society peaceful and tranquil and not protesting in the streets, rioting and violent like we see in the U.S. when the cities burn and there is no improvement in poverty—instead poverty grows in the U.S. and the middle class shrinks as labor unions are crushed and the 1% gain more wealth than at any time in U.S. history?

      Oh, and I write posts that point out the hypocrisy and lies that appear in the U.S. media about China and to prove my allegations, I link to facts. The so-called free media in the U.S. is really good about spreading propaganda and lies to fool the American people. America’s empire of hate media is one example. Just because the media and the people are free to criticism the U.S. govenrment and not get punished doesn’t mean what they allege about the U.S. government, labor unions, public school teachers, etc is true. Freedom of speech does not guarantee honesty. That is why in the United States there are several Fact Check sites that report on the lies of America’s elected leaders and those who are lying there way to win in the next election that more than half of eligible voters never vote in.

Comments are welcome — pro or con. However, comments must focus on the topic of the post, be civil and avoid ad hominem attacks.

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