SINGAPORE - Are you interested in the mooncakes or the box that they come in? Increasingly, it seems the design of the boxes is just as important as the taste of the mooncakes in determining sales.
In response to this trend, hotels here spare no effort in designing elaborate and fanciful mooncake boxes every year.
Concorde Hotel Singapore's food and beverage operations manager Nigel Tan says: "Last year, we had customers asking to buy extra mooncake boxes to store their jewellery, knick-knacks and even foodstuff like dried tea leaves."
Last year, the hotel used an Oriental wooden case as a mooncake box. Wrapped with a patterned silk cloth, it also featured a brass lock and key that could be used to unlock the box.
This year, it presents its mooncakes in an Oriental trunk - with intricate petal engravings and subtle maroon finishing. Within, there are four elegant metallic-coated boxes in colours that represent health, wealth, love and happiness. Mr Tan says: "Besides being a keepsake box, it can even serve as a decorative piece for the home."
Fairmont Singapore's Chinese restaurant Szechuan Court's mooncake box this year comes with a detachable photo frame, as well as a traditional drawer ideal for storing heirlooms, knick-knacks and trinkets.
"This year's mooncake box design is something that we have not attempted before," says Mr Nigel Moore, director of food & beverage at Fairmont Singapore.
"We combined traditional flavours with multi-functional design, and coated the packaging in a brilliant shade of red to make a stronger impression."