Feb 16, 2022|

Non-traditional Flavored Dessert “Tangyuan” Rise in Popularity During JD’s Lantern Festival Sales


by Doris Liu

In preparation of the Lantern Festival, which fell on February 15 this year, customers showed a great demand for both traditional and non-traditional flavors of “tangyuan”, a traditional Chinese dessert usually served on the day, with its turnover on JD.com surging dramatically.

“Tangyuan”, glutinous rice flour balls with sweet stuffing, are regarded as a symbol of family reunions and a happy life. This year, packages offering an assortment of flavors account for 31 percent of JD’s online sales of Tangyuan, showing a trend of trying multiple flavors at one meal by customers. Sales of glutinous rice flour, black sesame filling and red bean paste, which are classic ingredients of home-made Tangyuan, went up by 91 percent YOY.

Many non-traditional flavors of tangyuan gained popularity among consumers. The sales volume of Oreo cookie flavored tangyuan increased by 12.6 times YOY, and salty yolk-stuffing tangyuan more than doubled YOY. In addition, hawthorn and orange flavors climbed by more than 75 percent YOY respectively, while sales of sugar-free tangyuan, which represent a healthy lifestyle and good for diabetics, were up by 70 percent YOY.

Lighting up lanterns and guessing riddles are traditional customs for the festival. Festive consumption related to the tradition was also surging, with the turnover of multi-color lights climbing up by almost fivefold and lanterns by 171 percent YOY respectively.

Many people turned to online shopping for family members. Among the cross-province orders placed before the festival, sales of health services and fresh food both increased by more than double YOY, and sales of jewelry increased by 68 percent YOY.

The Lantern Festival traditionally marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebration.