Back Stories » Asia » China's $1.9 Billion Mooncake Industry

China's $1.9 Billion Mooncake Industry

Vietnam might consume a lot of mooncakes during the mid-autumn festival, but it has nothing on China.

The country of over one billion has more than 10,000 mooncake manufacturers which produce over 280,000 metric tons of the holiday staple annually, valued at $1.9 billion according to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. 2 million of the cakes end up in the garbage each year.

The cakes are notorious for their elaborate, and many argue, wasteful packaging. They often come in tins, containing individual tins for each cake and are wrapped in plastic. “It’s unnecessary for packaging to be so complicated,” said Henry Lui of Green Power.

Lavish boxes are sold for as much as $100 though the quality of the cakes remain the same no matter the packaging. Due to their high numbers, many mooncakes go uneaten and are given to charity, fed to pets and even grinded to make hair products.

The Hong Kong nonprofit St James’ Settlement says that it receives over 10,000 mookcake donations annually.

We’re not sure if we should be impressed by the sheer scale or disappointed by the wasteful nature of the special cakes. While not a direct analogy, Americans throw away an estimated 35% of their turkeys on Thanksgiving.


Related Articles

in Asia

18 Incredible Photos of 1950s Hong Kong

Like Saigon, Hong Kong has long been one of Asia’s most important commercial centers and both had been shaped by European colonial powers for nearly a century before being captured by the Japanese dur...

in Asia

19 Singlish Words Added to Oxford English Dictionary

Earlier this year, the prominent Oxford English Dictionary added to its tome a host of new Singlish words, recognizing more of the Lion City's colloquial terminology.

in Asia

22 Killed, 120 Injured In Blast At Central Bangkok Shrine

A massive explosion tore through a popular Hindu shrine at the Ratchaprasong intersection in Bangkok last night, killing 22 and injuring 120 more.

in Asia

3 Massive Statue Heads Unearthed At Cambodian Temple

Last weekend, three massive Angkorian-era statue heads at Banteay Chhmar temple in Banteay Meanchey Province were unearthed.

in Asia

9 Taiwanese Face Charges for Anal Gold Smuggling

Well, this is impressive. South Korean customs officials have announced that they have broken up a gold smuggling ring. The kicker? The mules would bring in the gold through their anuses. According t...

in Asia

A Look at Hong Kong's Cramped Apartments

There are plenty of small rooms here in Saigon, no doubt. But Hong Kong is notorious for it's cramped living quarters. These overhead photos were commissioned and released by The Society for Community...