Healthy mooncakes in demand

JOHOR BARU - There is a mooncake for everyone - even the weight-watchers and the health-conscious.

Mooncake makers are producing healthier alternatives and among the new recipes are mooncakes with wolfberry - sugarless, no less.

"The mooncake has a unique charcoal-like colour and does not even have an egg yolk in it," said Wong Wee Kit, 20, a sales representative with Qian You Ting.

"The sweetness comes from the natural flavour of the longan and the wolfberry, which is often used for medicinal purposes, giving the mooncake a distinct taste," he said, adding that other variations of traditional favourites, such as white lotus mooncakes made with less sugar or no sugar at all, were also selling fast.

"In fact, we have to restock every three days as the demand is so good," said Wong.

He said about 30 per cent of the mooncakes made by Qian You Ting this year featured the healthy variations.

"Families like to buy these treats for their elders or their children," Wong said.

"Previously, people just bought whatever looked good, but now they ask about the ingredients as they have become more health conscious," he said.

The mooncakes are each sold for between RM16.50 (S$6.40) and RM17.50.

Good Chen, a company which produces mooncakes in the shape of cartoon characters, is also producing healthy mooncakes.

"Parents these days are very concerned about obesity among the youngsters, so they are particular about the mooncakes that their children consume," said Heng Woon Yee, who works as a promoter for Good Chen.

"We are particular about making sure that our small mooncakes for children are healthy with lower sugar content," she said.

Among the company's cartoon character mooncakes which are selling well are Hello Kitty, SpongeBob Squarepants and Doraemon, she added.