China Food

In addition to Zhang Yimou, this category can also tell the romantic story of “24 solar terms”!

the close relationship between the 24 solar terms and agricultural production gives food a natural high correlation advantage in product innovation and marketing inspired by festivals, solar terms, seasons and seasons. So, which category will be the most advantageous?

Text: Giselle

Source: foodaily daily food (ID: foodaily)

At the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, which was full of Chinese romance, the opening short film of the countdown of the Chinese 24 solar terms surprised the world and also made the public pay attention to this Chinese traditional culture again. Under the general trend of the rise of the national tide, the emergence of the 24 solar terms just provides new materials for people who pay attention to the national tide and Chinese traditional culture, as well as new carriers and exports of self-expression and emotional expression.
Screenshot of the countdown to the 24 solar terms of the Winter Olympic Games, picture source: Xiao Hongshu Xu abo
The 24 solar terms is a natural calendar summarized by the ancient Chinese through the long-term observation of natural phenology and the perception of the four seasons. It is used to guide life and agricultural production and is related to the harvest of the whole year. In the process of development, taking the 24 solar terms as the time clue throughout the year, many related folk activities and distinctive food culture all over the country have been derived.
The close relationship between the 24 solar terms and agricultural production gives food a natural high correlation advantage in product innovation and marketing inspired by festivals, solar terms, seasons and seasons. So far, when each solar term comes, searching for keywords related to solar terms and folk popular science must be related to “what to eat in this solar term”. In the choice of what to eat, you can always see the names of many traditional Chinese cakes.
Peach blossom crisp, picture source: fat bear in the kitchen
Last year, the baking track was very hot, among which Xianghe pastry shop completed the first round of financing of more than 100 million, which paid attention to the traditional Chinese pastries again. At the same time, as a must buy product for traditional festivals such as Dragon Boat Festival and Mid Autumn Festival, traditional Chinese pastries with strong festival food mentality for a long time or the most competitive category in the development and marketing of 24 solar terms Festival products.
The product innovation and marketing opportunities represented by the 24 solar terms can mainly focus on the solar terms, seasonal phenology, traditional festival culture and folk customs, and the sense of season. The release of solar terms posters of many brands seems to have become a convention, but the 24 solar terms products do not seem to have formed a strong consumer mind like mid autumn moon cakes.
So, why is traditional Chinese pastry the most competitive category in Chinese traditional festival marketing? How can Chinese pastry brands make new achievements and establish a clear new understanding of festival terms in the hearts of consumers? What are the successful cases that can be referred to? How can we make good use of our historical and cultural advantages to tell old stories with new people, take advantage of the 24 solar terms of the Winter Olympics to make festivals, seasonal product extension and marketing momentum, and reintegrate the traditional food culture into modern people’s food life?
Why is it that in the innovation of 24 solar terms,
Is traditional Chinese pastry the most promising category?
Although some people complain that moon cakes taste bad every year, they are still necessary for almost every family, and the market is hot every year. I have to admit that in terms of festival food cognition, traditional Chinese cakes have an unshakable sense of mature consumer mind and trust, which runs through ancient and modern times. However, compared with the “new Chinese baking” of last year’s fire, the adaptability and advantages of traditional Chinese cakes in festival making and marketing are far more than that.
Source: zhiweiguan official flagship store
In the history of traditional Chinese pastries, you don’t have to make up a story. You are part of the story
Through the accumulation of history, traditional Chinese cakes naturally have the persuasion as the exporter of traditional culture.
The attribute of festival solar terms of traditional Chinese cakes has a long history and is justified
In fact, in the long development and evolution of Chinese traditional festivals and 24 solar terms, Chinese cakes have been accompanied for a long time, which is not limited to the Dragon Boat Festival and the Mid Autumn Festival.
Turning the time back to the Northern Song Dynasty, Meng Yuan recorded many seasonal snacks in his book “Tokyo Menghua record”, which recorded the local conditions and customs of Bianjing, the capital of the Northern Song Dynasty. On the Dragon Boat Festival, there are sweet fruits, zongzi and baituan. In June, there are HUANGLENG Tuan Zi, Zhima Tuan Zi and turtle sand stuffing. On the seventh night of July, “it is also made of oil and molasses, which is called fruit food”. In August, the autumn society “sends each other with social cakes and wine”. On the Double Ninth Festival in September, people will give each other steamed cakes made of flour. They will also make the shape of Lion Man king with flour and put it on the steamed cakes, which is called “Lion Man”.   
Chongyang flower cake, picture source: Daoxiang village, Beijing
Fast forward to the yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties, the milk flavor cakes from the western regions of the Yuan Dynasty were introduced into Yanjing (Beijing), and the word “Bobo” also appeared to refer to cakes; In the Ming Dynasty, Jiangsu and Zhejiang people who moved north opened nanguopu in Beijing; The establishment of the capital in the Qing Dynasty brought Manchu cakes.
The market at the root of the imperial city is always at the forefront of trend, involution and innovation. North and South pastries learn from and integrate with each other here. A large number of snack shops with names have emerged in the capital and developed into an important industry in the prosperous era of Kang and Qian dynasties. During the Spring Festival, offering sacrifices, visiting relatives and friends, weddings and funerals, and paying tribute from the imperial court, pastry has become an essential food.
Source: Beijing Local Chronicles Museum
Of course, the existence time of traditional Chinese cakes in the history of Chinese food is far earlier than this, and the types of snacks are far more than this. Rain dragon whisker cake, startled donkey rolling, Qingming qingtuan, Chongyang flower cake, Xiaoxue Ciba If you want to sum up the festival snacks all over the country, it will take considerable effort. However, only from the records after the Northern Song Dynasty, it can be seen that traditional Chinese cakes have long been accompanied by Chinese traditional festival solar terms, which is an indispensable part of the sense of Festival ceremony.
The integration of North and South has reduced the regional gap of Chinese pastries, but has greater opportunities to break the circle
I believe that diners who have a little knowledge of the origin of Daoxiang village in Beijing know that the earliest Daoxiang village in Beijing is located in Guanyinsi street outside the front door. It is called “Daoxiang Village South goods store”. It operates southern style pastries. It is very fresh and popular in Beijing. Since then, dim sum shops such as “Guixiang village” and “daoxiangchun” have appeared in the capital, which also operate Southern dim sum.
Beijing style pastries represented by Daoxiang village in Beijing have been greatly influenced by Southern snack schools in the process of development.
Source: Beijing Daoxiang Village flagship store
China has a vast territory, and there is no need to say more about the great differences in eating habits across the country. However, in history, after the migration of northern nationalities to the south in the Tang and Song Dynasties and the spread of snacks from the south to the north and the sale of goods from the south to the north in the Qing Dynasty, the regional gap of Chinese snacks is relatively smaller than that of other categories. There are always some flavors that can impress the taste buds of North and South at the same time.
For example, many famous brands of Manchu dim sum SaQima are in the south. For another example, although there are various genres of moon cakes in Guangzhou, Jiangsu, Beijing, Jin, Chao and Yunnan, Guangzhou style moon cakes are the first in the year. There are soft glutinous cakes in the South and sweet glutinous donkeys in the north. Black sesame, bean paste, lotus paste, jujube paste… These fillings are regular customers in northern and southern Chinese snacks.
It can be seen that traditional Chinese pastries still have some inherent advantages in “unifying the whole country”. Compared with other categories, Chinese pastries may have higher acceptance and greater opportunities to break the circle.
In the era of shortage of materials, traditional pastries are a rare sweet taste on important days, and have also become a satisfying taste that the older generation will never forget. However, with the turbulence in modern China, many traditional pastry shops have disappeared, and many snacks have only existed in written records. The impact of Western baking has further compressed the living space of traditional Chinese baking. At one time, many people thought that traditional dim sum was old-fashioned, monotonous and tasteless.
However, with the new generation’s confidence in Chinese culture and the improvement of their sense of identity, the traditional food culture and festival culture have also attracted more and more attention, which is likely to make a comeback. Chinese dim sum, which frequently appears in the traditional festival solar terms, will have a great opportunity in the wave of national tide revival.
It can brush the sense of existence all year round,
Why can Japanese tradition and fruit become synonymous with festivals?
Similarly, as a traditional pastry, Japan and fruit are excellent representatives with mature and strong expressiveness in seasonal attributes and seasonal attributes. It can be said that Japanese festivals, large and small, are arranged with fruit all year round. For traditional Chinese pastries, Japanese and fruit can be said to be a very suitable reference case.
From aristocratic elegant society to common people’s daily culture, and fruits have developed into representative features of seasonal sense
In Japan, red bean is a very important raw material for and fruit, and most of it is used in the manufacture of and fruit. Therefore, it is considered that it is directly proportional to the change of fruit consumption and red bean consumption. According to the statistics of the Ministry of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, the consumption of red beans has been almost stable in the past 15 years from 2018. It can be inferred that the overall sales of and fruits have also been almost stable in the past 10 years before 2018.
And the reason why fruit can maintain such a stable sales volume is inseparable from its strong “sense of season” and “sense of festival”. The sources of these two attributes have two paths.
Spring scenery and fruit “ぼぼぼりぼり”, “桜 flower (おうか)” vegetable flower “, photo source: Longyue Hall
First, the Kyoto fruit developed in Kyoto during the Edo era. The development of fruit and tea is closely related to the development of Japanese tea ceremony, and the relationship between fruit and tea ceremony is the most elegant and meticulous in Kyoto.
Beijing fruit is not only a refreshment that brings out the taste of tea, but also a cultural carrier that experiences the scenery of the changes of the four seasons, carries the meaning of classical literature and sets off the atmosphere of solar terms and festivals. It brings people the enjoyment of beauty from the five senses of touch, smell, taste, vision and hearing. Where there are Beijing fruit, people can build a scene of lyrical words and happy gathering and conversation between relatives and friends.
Beijing fruit mainly reflects the sense of season through name, color and shape. With the development of Dongshan culture in Kyoto, the formation of artistic culture including short songs and Haiku is also related to fruit.
Autumn attack of Beijing fruit inspired by autumn red leaves, photo source: Beijing fruit maker Hewu Jixin official website
Second, the and fruit culture developed in the Edo era among the common people.
One of the biggest features of the Edo era was the rise of the catering culture of the common people. Snacks that were originally enjoyed only by the upper class also began to spread to the citizens. In order to meet the diversified needs, snack shops for tea, wedding and festival ceremonies and snack shops for daily consumption have emerged.
The development of various sub categories jointly promoted the development of this period and fruit, and fruit has gradually become an indispensable food in major solar terms, festivals and important days of personal life.
Due to the different ways of festival celebration inherited from different places, these regional characteristics have also been retained in local and fruit, which is also the reason for the large number of local and old fruit shops.
Some summer and fruit, photo source: Shun gate
Once a year + “season defines the skin”, a modern and seasonal fruit culture
Nowadays, the seasonal sense of and fruit is reflected, on the one hand, through grass cakes, cherry cakes, cypress cakes and mutton soup, which are sold only in specific seasons and disappear from the counter after the season. Once missed, they can’t eat until the next year. On the other hand, seasonal characteristics are expressed through different shapes and colors from fruits, such as cherry blossom, rape flower, Ziyang flower, morning glory, camellia and other seasonal flowers, persimmon, chestnut and other autumn fruits, goldfish in summer and snow rabbit in winter, etc.
Sakura cake, photo source: Shun gate
In addition, in the cultural life of Japanese, no matter in the traditional new year, festival, daughter’s day, Dragon Boat Festival, Yulan basin Festival, harvest celebration and other days, or in life events such as birth, enrollment, graduation, adulthood, marriage, childbirth, funeral, sacrifice and so on, both for personal use and as gifts, and fruits are essential, This also brings sales opportunities for and fruits.
For example, on the official website of tiger house, an old fruit shop in Japan, you can see a “and fruit calendar”, which introduces the corresponding and fruits of some important time nodes. At these time nodes, the seasonality and fruit of each brand can be seen everywhere, whether it is an old fruit shop or a cutting-edge brand, whether it is a specialty store, a department store, a food area or a convenience store. This and fruit culture has even affected Japanese Western baking, and Western baking products using Festival and seasonal elements have become more and more abundant in recent years.
Tiger house and fruit calendar, picture source: Tiger House official website
Not only zongzi and moon cakes,
Traditional Chinese pastry products have sprung up,
Time honored brands with inheritance advantages are particularly active
When it comes to the festival products of traditional Chinese pastries in China, most people’s first reaction must only think of moon cakes and zongzi. In fact, in addition to these two mature categories, some representative traditional Chinese pastry brands have also launched other solar terms related products, and even have built a complete 24 solar terms product line.
The 24 solar terms series of Daoxiang village in Beijing – spring, summer, autumn and winter, making the past serve the present and innovatively restoring the past
Speaking of 24 solar terms products, Beijing daoxiangxin can be said to be a pioneer brand.
Since the beginning of autumn in 2009, Beijing Daoxiang village has launched 24 solar terms health food for many years. By visiting nutritionists and folklore experts, a large number of analysis and research were carried out to comprehensively launch a 24 solar term series of health food in line with natural health preservation and folk tradition.
Among the 24 solar terms series products, there are not only spring rolls, Chongyang flower cakes, Qingming qingtuan and other products with more traditional forms, but also rain runchun cakes, Guyu Chunya crisp, Xiaoman longan crisp, Bailu sweet potato cakes and other products using seasonal ingredients, ingredients with seasonal images, or ingredients in line with the traditional habits of diet and health preservation in the current season, There are also creative products such as green plum fruit in ear.
green plum fruit in ear, photo source: Official Website of Daoxiang village, Beijing
In addition, Beijing Daoxiang village also released the “24 solar terms health culture manual”. It not only caters to the Chinese tradition of pursuing health preservation, but also integrates the strong Chinese festival culture with the food culture of Daoxiang village. While exporting festival culture to modern consumers and rebuilding consumers’ Festival habits, it also deepened the image of the brand in consumers’ hearts, leaving new memory points and reasons for repeated consumption of brand products.
Xianghe pastry shop – New bottled old wine, explore new categories of traditional festival food
As a representative of Tianjin style snacks, Xianghe pastry shop is not only good at traditional snacks such as imperial concubine cakes and jujube crisp, but also has made some innovative explorations in festival food.
For example, on the Dragon Boat Festival, it is recorded in the Dragon Boat Festival of Yanjing in the Qing Dynasty: “before each Dragon Boat Festival, the Zhumen of the government used zongzi to feed the malt, accompanied by cherry, mulberry, water chestnut, peach, apricot, five poison cake, rose cake and other things.” In the Dragon Boat Festival, the ancients not only competed in dragon boats and ate zongzi, but also believed that the breeding of poisons was active in early summer. Therefore, they would eat “five poison cakes” to wish to eliminate diseases and strengthen their health.
The Dragon Boat Festival custom of eating five poison cakes once appeared in CCTV news, while Xianghe Bobo opened a new way, jumped out of the Dragon Boat Festival zongzi field, and launched the Dragon Boat Festival five poison cakes, a traditional snack in the north, in 2020.
Picture source: CCTV cctv13 morning news screenshot
The five poisons cake of Xianghe Bobo shop adopts the traditional pulp lifting technology, and there are convex and concave five poisons patterns on the surface of the dessert. Lotus seeds and agaric are selected as the inner stuffing, together with the oily and delicate outer skin with strong egg flavor, which has rich and layered taste.
Xianghe pastry shop, the official account of Xianghe pastry shop.
In addition, Xianghe pastry shop also launched products such as red dates, brown sugar crispy and Xiaohan Jiuyang cake limited by the winter solstice. There are not only the foundation of traditional custom stories and traditional dessert formulas, but also the combination of modern ingredients such as butter and yogurt with traditional ingredients such as red dates, brown sugar, medlar and chrysanthemum. The new bottled old wine makes people want to experience these snacks and taste them.
Xinghualou – innovative taste unexpectedly became popular, and Jiangnan Qingming pastry became a national online popularity
If there were any major events in the domestic Chinese pastry festival in 2016, one of them must be the popularity of xinghualou Youth League.
Before and after the Tomb Sweeping Day in 2016, the salted egg yolk meat floss Youth League first launched by the time-honored Xinghua building in Shanghai had a total turnover of more than 10 million yuan, and it once needed to queue for 6 hours during the peak sales period. In the same year, Shen Dacheng, Qiao jiazha and other time-honored pastry shops also successively launched green dumplings filled with salted egg yolk and meat floss. Since then, during the Qingming Festival every year, all time-honored brands have to carry out the Youth League war, and people are happy to queue up for stores every year.
Taking advantage of the popularity of xinghualou qingtuan network, in addition to selling in traditional stores, online hongqingtuan also appeared packaging versions with a long shelf life and entered sales channels such as convenience stores and online stores. The Youth League went directly to the whole country from a seasonal snack in the Qingming Festival in the south of the Yangtze River, and became a pastry “enjoyed by the whole people” before and after the Qingming Festival.
xinghualou Youth League, photo source: xinghualou food flagship store
The popularity of qingtuan is inseparable from the bold taste innovation of traditional pastries. However, with the emergence of various and even increasingly outrageous “innovative tastes” such as crab meal green dumplings, pickled fresh green dumplings, Buddha jumping wall green dumplings, coconut cheese green dumplings, flow heart taro green dumplings, tremella green dumplings, Longjing green dumplings, sour and spicy chicken feet green dumplings, fried yellow beef green dumplings, Lei pepper preserved egg green dumplings, snail powder green dumplings and so on, Some people also think that qingtuan is still the traditional bean paste filling and malantou filling, which are the most authentic Qingming flavor.
Although the “innovative taste” Youth League is popular, or has a huge flow at the moment, it remains to be seen whether it can keep its momentum and stabilize its output, rather than disappear after a few years of popularity.
The ancients depended on heaven for food and did not eat from time to time. The development of modern agricultural technology has lifted the “seasonal seal” of many foods and made them available all year round. Nevertheless, it is still a fun little thing in public life to feel the seasonal changes and festival atmosphere through seasonal and specific food. For modern people, it is no longer a household farmer. In addition to guiding the thickness of clothes, the perception of the changes of the four seasons has also become an important guide for the sense of daily ritual.
However, with the food resources from lack to great abundance, the changes of consumers’ eating habits, concepts and tastes from generation to generation, and the impact of foreign food culture, many people have gradually failed to realize, or even unwilling to take the initiative to experience the happiness brought by the traditional old taste.
Fortunately, with the infiltration of Guochao culture, consumers recently began to have a great interest in traditional culture. China’s 5000 year long history, rich folk culture and catering culture, as well as rich products, have given brands too many materials that can be excavated and may enable the public to re experience the interests of the ancients.
The turning red of the 24 solar terms undoubtedly gives traditional Chinese cakes a chance. How to make good use of the historical and cultural advantages of the category, be the explorer, narrator, disseminator and even guide of the traditional culture, revitalize and empower the category and industry, and “cultural upgrade” the product power is a problem worthy of consideration for all traditional Chinese pastry brands in the future. I hope traditional Chinese baking can give me a satisfactory answer, and even set a new example for all category brands who intend to explore and reproduce Chinese traditional culture.
[1] “Tokyo dream”, Song Dynasty, Meng Yuanlao;
[2] The wonderful traditional Chinese pastries are far beyond your imagination!, CIB Baking Technology Research Institute, February 17, 2022;
[3] Beijing fruit culture, Kyoto intangible cultural heritage;
[4] The history of hekoizu;
[5] And fruit industry is strong, weak, output, expectation, and Su Guangsheng, executive director of the National Association of fruit and fruit, April 2018
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