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China Daily Website

Taking a bite of the moon

Updated: 2014-09-08 10:07
By Wang Ying (Shanghai Star)

Taking a bite of the moon

Xing Hua Lou: The popular patisserie's flagship store.

Although the restaurant serves many delicious local dishes, it is chiefly known for its moon cakes. "Before 1949, due to limited production, moon cakes were a luxury which only a few people could afford," says Sun Chunli, deputy director of general office of Xing Hua Lou Food and Restaurant Co Ltd.

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With the moon cake as its core product, Xing Hua Lou has developed four classic flavors: red bean paste, lotus seed paste, shredded coconut, and assorted kernels.

The company has been expanding its production area in recent years. In 1996, a 6,000-square-meter factory was built, and in 2004 the company built a factory of more than 30,000 sq m in Pujiang township of Minghang district. The expanded production capacity has enabled it to satisfy the soaring demand.

To attract younger customers, Xin Hua Lou also introduced flavors such as chocolate paste, orange paste and mocha cranberry in 2009.

The rising sales have greatly enhanced its brand reputation, and within four years, Xing Hua Lou's moon cake sales revenue nearly doubled from 330 million yuan ($53.7 million) in 2009 to 600 million yuan in 2012.

Apart from its moon cakes, Xing Hua Lou also sells preserved meat in winter, zongzi (stuffed rice pyramids) in summer, and a wide variety of steamed buns. To date, there are 150 Xing Hua Lou stores in Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces.

Xing Hua Lou launched its own online store this year, and started selling its products on Yihaodian.com and Tmall.