The mooncake market in 2018 is estimated to enjoy an increase by 3.3 percent YoY to reach THB930 million after the sales registered a status quo in 2017. The demands are driven by customers' desire to buy mooncakes for their personal consumption or presenting them as gifts to others. This year, mooncake prices have gone up because of higher costs for packaging designs and different flavors; these are the two elements that have become more crucial in boosting mooncake sales in lieu of the customers' desire to follow the old tradition of worshiping the moon. The disappearing tradition during the Mid-Autumn Festival has been modified to fit the changing times.
KResearch has surveyed consumer behavior and summed up highlights as follows:
- The mooncake market has increasingly been driven by demands for private consumption/gift. Most buyers are in the middle-class segment and higher market, whose demands are pushed by positive economic sentiments. As consumers feel more confident to spend, some operators have developed their recipes by innovating flavorful fillings and exquisite designs to deliver a delightful experience to both buyers and recipients. Therefore, mooncake prices per unit have generally gone up. The respondents said they plan to spend 20 percent more on average to buy mooncakes this year. The survey showed that respondents who plan to buy the Chinese delicacies for personal consumption/gifts will spend THB870 each; while those purchasing mooncake for the Mid-Autumn Festival celebration plan to spend only THB640 per person. At the same time, incumbent and new mooncake sellers have created flavorful fillings to respond to the taste of the modern generation with exotic flavors such as custard, green tea and macadamia.
- Reasonable price is the key, in spite of high purchasing power of consumers planning to buy mooncake for private consumption/gift. Although the new generation of customers is willing to pay more for products that they want, this group of customers also attaches importance to the value for their money. The survey finds that 69.0 percent of respondents said that the most influential factor encouraging them to purchase more mooncakes is special marketing campaigns, and 69.2 percent of them said that the expensive price of a mooncake is a factor discouraging them from buying one. Therefore, in order for sellers to capture the new generation of consumers, they should present interesting products with affordable prices. Nonetheless, the affluent new-generation of customers with high purchasing power may be willing to spend their money on the uniquely-designed products regardless of the prices.
- Creative presentation of mooncakes can lure new customers. At present, there are a large number of potential consumers who have never bought a mooncake due to many reasons, according to the survey. For example, they do not observe the Mid-Autumn Festival tradition or they simply do not like the flavor. Some said they find mooncakes 'too pricey'. The sellers will have more opportunity to expand their markets if they can encourage these buyers to get a taste of their products. The survey shows that 41.7 percent of the respondents who have never bought a mooncake said that the No. 1 factor that can change their mind is the uniqueness of mooncake stuffing, 38.9 percent of them said they might buy one if the prices are reasonable and 16.7 percent of them look for the exotic designs. The answers reflect the behavior of the new generation of consumers who want fresh products that can reflect their identity with reasonable prices.
KResearch estimates that the new group of buyers who purchase mooncakes for private consumption or giving them as gifts are ready to try innovative products. This trend presents a golden opportunity for aspiring mooncake sellers. At any rate, the recipe for their success lies in the perfect blend of flavor, fillings and packaging designs. The sellers also can appeal to the buyers' appetite by presenting their products as “Limited Edition" mooncakes with the convenient transport service to impress both sellers and recipients. For example, mooncake gifts may be imported or contained in sought-after materials. The operators may also improve stuffing tastes instead of currently popular Monthong durian, they may also present mooncake fillings made from exotic durian cultivars, such as Nonthaburi, Kanyao, Long-lin, Laplae or durians grown from volcanic soil in Si Sa Ket and organic durians.