Mooncake manufacturers in southern China's Guangdong province are looking forward to a bright and prosperous Mid-Autumn Festival this year amid increased overseas demand for the festive treat.
Due to the growing demand from overseas markets, many mooncake producers are now sparing no effort to expand their production and diversify their products to earn more foreign currency before the festival.
Mooncake producers and traders from Guangdong have earned more than $5 million so far this year after selling a total of 129 batches of mooncakes, weighing 477 metric tons by the end of August, according to a statement released by Guangzhou Customs.
And exports of the popular treat, a traditional gift during the Mid-Autumn Festival, are expected to continue to soar in the coming days, said the statement.
The Mid-Autumn Festival, one of the major Chinese festivals and a symbol of family reunion for Chinese people, falls on Sept 13 this year.
The peak period for mooncake exports is usually in the two weeks before the festival, the statement said.
In addition to the traditional mooncakes stuffed with sweet bean paste, lotus seeds, roasted pork, nuts and egg yolk, mooncakes stuffed with durian and other fruits, as well as almonds, sesame, chocolate and cheeses are particularly welcomed by customers in Western countries and regions, said the statement.
Liu Jieqiang, a senior executive from Foshan Shunde Pingroun Food Development Co Ltd, said his company has now earned more than 130,000 yuan ($18,239) from selling durian mooncakes abroad this year.
"It is the first time the company has produced durian mooncakes, which have become a new star in the company's mooncake exports this year," he said.
"The durian mooncake, which weighs 60 grams, is especially liked and welcomed by young people abroad," he added.
And a manager surnamed Wen from the export section of Guangzhou Restaurant Group Likoufu Food Co Ltd, said the company was given the green light by Guangzhou Customs to export a batch of mooncakes, weighing 8,000 kilograms, after passing strict quality checks.
"The company has so far sold more than 50,000 kilograms of mooncakes to the United States, Canada, Australia and other Western nations and regions this year, and the export volume has reached more than 5 million yuan, up 26.5 percent from the same period of the previous year," Wen said.
Cantonese-style mooncakes usually account for about half of all mooncakes sold in the mainland and a large proportion of those exported annually.
To help local companies increase their mooncake sales abroad, Guangzhou Customs has established a special task force earlier this year guiding locals to further improve their mooncake quality and make products that can meet the quality requirements set by Western countries and regions for mooncake imports, the statement said.