Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Moon My Cakes!

Each passing year, we get further away from tradition. Is this fusion or variety or just plain stupidity. I am talking about mooncakes. The whole thing marks of a scam.

Who doesn't know that the cost of a mooncake is minimal really compared to their exorbitant selling price. Why do you think almost every restaurant sells them? There must be a global collusion to sell these over priced things - its a Chinese mafia I tell you.

At best, the mooncake festival can be an excuse for family togetherness. The actual reasons and history for how the festival are pretty flimsy. Its more stuffs of legends and fairytales than rooted in reality. But anyway, since the Chinese culture has no solid God/religion, where everything goes (the world is full of dieties and buddhas as the saying goes), hearsay and stories evolved into things cultural, which in turn becomes tradition, which is much like Christmas, becomes a marketing extravaganza.

Since it is stuff of legends and fairytales, its not rooted deeply, and is open for interpretation. It used to be just lotus paste and black sesame. Throw in the egg yolks if you want. NOW you have: lotus with dried sambal; green tea & pu er; dragonfruit with blackcurrent; spirulina; the omochis; the ice cream ones; the durian paste; pandan sweet corn; capuccino; yam gingko nut; chocolate strawberry fondue; the various types of skin covers; oreo; chocolate walnut brownie; .... enough already... we are all losing the plot!!!

Go back to the roots of the tradition. Why do we have Mooncake Festival? Its for family togetherness, its really for the kids ... I remember as kids I loved the festival, the lanterns and candles. I liked that connection, knowing that my dad and grad dad probably played with similar lanterns, similar candles and ate the same kind of mooncakes 50 or 100 years ago. That's the tradition that connects, and the kind you want to pass on to the next generation.

Not that anything about the mooncake thing is true, its cultural and it carries values, things we want to pass on - whether the festival is rooted in true events is not material anymore.

Hence, please you bloody marketers, do not cheapen the tradition. We want the connectivity. I will still want to buy the basic lotus paste or black sesame... and also the baked fish-shapes / pig-shaped mooncake biscuits ... because they all remind me of the past which I longed to remember and the people I do not wish to forget.


Victor AY said...

Yeah Mr Dali ! Well said. With average selling price of those at RM10++ a piece, I decided to skip those and go for more traditional mooncake that cost RM8/4 piece. At least, I get to savour some lotus seed and not those fusion type of flavour.

Whatever happen to those black colour stuff that looks like buffolo horn too ? It seems to be lost in translation...


MP said...

scam? willing buyer willing seller maaaa LOL. Have to give them marketers credit for their creativity and keen eye for human psychology lah. I guess you're an unwilling buyer like me :)

scam? bottled water ... there was an article in the star yesterday Me? I drink B&F Eau Municipale :)

Jason said...

Actually, we are paying RM10++ for HALF the mooncake if we take sugar content into consideration as the sugar content is typically not less than 50% per 100g. I just don't understand why our apa-pun-boleh BN government don't make it compulsory to label sugar content especially toddler food product such as milk powder. I have checked on major growing-up milk powder brands( i.e for those more than 1 year old), none of the manufacturers list the percentage of sugar.

ru40342 said...

Nice topics.

well as we all knew the selling price of the traditional moon cake is around rm4-5/piece while the modern moon cake(bird nest, Hong kong silk stockings tea or other bizarre looking moon cake)can cost you more than rm10. These types of moon cakes have basically the same ingredients as the old one except for really tiny peace of bird nest or whatever the flavour is.

It's same as wedding dress, birthday cakes, or even dumpling for the The Dragon Boat Festival.
They all cost you much higher than they were 10 or 20 years ago. and we accept it well as a modernization process.


clk said...

I heard that some chinese restaurants in some major hotels makes the entire yr profit from mooncake alone as the other revenue don't generate so much income/profit.

I still like my "animal biscuits" in the shape of fish or pig...just bought a few "pigs and rabbits" for RM3 each recently.

HollyS said...

i think it's really too much that even MLM companies sell them nowadays. Not to mentioned the ridiculously high prices which comes in various sizes and tastes. They aint getting my business. I would rather spend it on a half tank of petrol for a box.

TK said...

Now our kid got plastic lantern with bulbs & batteries, some with music, but no more fun for our kids. I never like to buy these lanterns for my kids. May be one day the kids will have lanterns like space ships or crystal balls with laser beams shooting out from all angles.

ONI said...


"May be one day the kids will have lanterns like space ships or crystal balls with laser beams shooting out from all angles."

If they don't have it already, you should see them in the market next year. :)

Datuk said...

Neither it surprised me nor it disapointed me when come to the commercialization of our tradition festivals as the evolution were reflected below:

i) Demand create its own supply. The festival itself create the demand and supply will follow suit..

ii)Supply create its own demand. As part of a diffrentiation strategy to increase market share and boost up profit margin...the marketer will create a new thing, new taste....all other new...s

iii) The needs for diffrentiation are parts and parcel of our human nature.

iv) The needs for maintaining the old tradition and nostalgia are only the other side of coin from item (iii) above.

v) This is a must journey in our quest for the ultimate well balanced society....the bias toward the materialistic world is just half the journey, not the final destination.

Anyway, individual like us still have the choices to choose.....between a wiser consumer and a comtemporary spender. Your choice !

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