Wed, May 25, 2011 - Page 2 News List

‘Zongzi’ pre-sales strong despite increased prices

Staff Writer, with CNA

With Dragon Boat Festival approaching, zongzi (粽子), a traditional Chinese steamed dumpling made of glutinous rice stuffed with various fillings and wrapped in bamboo or reed, are enjoying booming sales as the steamed dumpling is an integral part of the festival’s celebrations.

Although zongzi sold at five-star hotels are about 13 percent more expensive than last year because of hikes in ingredient prices, pre-sales are enthusiastic, market sources said.

Some store have optimistically predicted that increased zongzi sales signal booming sales for Mid-Autumn Festival mooncakes.

A Westin Taipei spokesman said over the weekend that 70 percent of the 2,500 boxes of zongzi it prepared have already been sold, which was “beyond our expectations.”

As the costs of the ingredients have increased by more than 10 percent, Westin raised the price for its six-dumpling pack to NT$999 from NT$888 last year, a spokesman said.

In contrast, the hypermart Carrefour and retailers at many traditional marketplaces said they have not raised their prices because they hope low prices can help stimulate more sales.

“Although material costs have increased significantly, we decided not to raise our zongzi prices,” a Carrefour spokesman said, adding the company believes bulk sales would generate even more profits.

With the number of Internet users increasing and online shopping becoming ever more popular, a number of online vendors such as PChome are marketing zongzi with low-calorie ingredients or new flavors.

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