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Frank Nardone moonstruck by Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

MooncakeChinese people around the world will be feasting on mooncakes come September 25, when China celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival. Actually, says Nardone Baker Wines Managing DIrector, Frank Nardone, who has just returned from an extensive sales tour of China, the Chinese are already feasting on mooncakes.

"It is like the lead up to Easter in China at the moment," remarks Frank. "Just like we see brightly decorated Easter eggs in supermarkets and specialty stores for many weeks leading up to Easter, Chinese supermarkets, stores and restaurants, are full to the brim with mooncake displays.

The Mid-Autumn Festival began 3,000 years ago and is held on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month in the Chinese calendar. This day marks the Autumn equinox, coinciding with the moon being at its fullest and brightest, making it an ideal time for a festival to celebrate the end of the Summer harvest. Families typically gather and eat mooncakes and light bright lanterns.

Mooncakes can be sweet, salty, savoury, sour, or combinations thereof, in keeping with the complexity and depth of the Chinese palate. Popular fillings include salty egg, lotus seeds and pork.

Frank believes Nardone Baker Wines will benefit from his first hand experience of the Mid-Autumn Festival atmosphere, because it has impressed upon him some of the seriousness and rigour with which many Chinese approach celebration.

"The decoration and presentation of mooncakes takes marketing to new levels," he says. "Westerners would be amazed at the lavishness and detail that Chinese producers apply to their mooncakes. Although you can buy basic mooncakes for snacking, most are beautifully wrapped and crafted.

"I saw some mooncakes that were presented in a large, satin-lined case, with each mooncake individually packed in gold, embossed metal box. The case even came with a matching carry bag.

"I learned a lot about Chinese expectations about packaging and presentation and we will be building on these insights as we expand our growing operations into China."

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