Mooncakes are a common gift exchanged during the Mid-autumn festival – about two weeks ago for this year.

However, most people nowadays receive more mooncakes than they can possibly consume (a typical Cantonese style mooncake contains more than 700 calories). So there is risk of mooncakes piling up in your home – or more likely, office – causing big waste.

So to make things easier, some of the biggest mooncake bakeries have started issuing Mooncake coupons.

People can buy the coupons and send them as gifts; those who receive the coupons can choose to redeem mooncakes or sell the the coupons at a lower price to a third party; the third party here is usually a middlemen who buys the coupons and resells them to the factory which issued the coupons in the first place.

A typical scenario/flow:

  1. The bakery printed a coupon with the face value of CNY100 (US$14.45);
  2. Customer A buys the coupon for CNY85;
  3. A gives the coupon to his boss B as a gift;
  4. B sells the coupon to the middleman for CNY60;
  5. The middleman sells the coupon to the factory for CNY75.

As a result:

  1. The bakery makes a profit of CNY10;
  2. The middleman gets CNY15 profit;
  3. B makes CNY60 and does not have to stuff his stomach with calories;
  4. A sent a CNY100 face value gift with only CNY85 spent.

So – securitization of mooncakes.

Of course, the value of such securities is guaranteed by the bakery’s ability to actually deliver the mooncakes.   

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].