In China, as well as Hong Kong, food is heavily laden with social and cultural meanings. In fact, cake making has a long history in Hong Kong, and Hong Kong has always been a place where East meets West. Breads, Western cakes and biscuits have been on the markets since early days. However, for a while, with Western-style cakes’ and breads’ growing popularity, traditional Chinese cakes had actually become less common for a while. But nowadays, traditional-style Chinese cakes still attract/re-attract customers with their established reputation and new image, and a variety of Chinese wedding cakes produced by Kee Wah Chinese Bakery (KW) are still familiar to the people in Hong Kong. KW now manufactures their products with a unique Chinese traditional flavour and packaging – carrying special meanings and constitutes a powerful symbol of the spirit of the City. KW was originally founded in Hong Kong in 1938 by Mr. WONG Yip-wing (1911 - 1999). The Company is well known in Hong Kong and overseas for its signature products, e.g., the traditional Chinese bridalcakes and mooncakes, though a wide range of Chinese and KW’s Western delicacies is equally popular. In addition, the Bakery also offers a variety of Chinese favorites and delicacies, including traditional Chinese egg-rolls and pineapple paste cakes. In fact, the history of this multi-national bakery can be traced back to the pre-World War II period. The founder, Mr. WONG Yip-wing started the business as a humble tuck shop in the late 1930s with only three staff, selling only modest candies and loaning comic books to the youngsters. KW in its earlier decades was operating as a neighbourhood business. The business continued but not without difficulties during the post World War II period in the 1940s and 1950s. With limited supply of ingredients and equipments, Mr. Wong and his dedicated staff started the business of making traditional Chinese pastry. Demands and expectations from customers were quite easy to meet those days when most people had to work hard to make their ends meet. Life in general was without much excessive. Unexpectedly, Mr. WONG was able to make the business a big success. KW’s business took on a new turn in the 1970s and 1980s when Hong Kong’s economy began to take off. Traditional Chinese baked goods also began to shine a new light at that time.
This paper analyzes the following:
1. The reasons and the beginning of KW’s Westernization and modernization.
2. The authenticity of KW’s products, and their association with the traditional Chinese culture.
3. KW and Chinese Disapora -- what are the symbolic and cultural meanings behind the KW’s products, and their association with the overseas Chinese immigrants, as well as how overseas Chinese immigrants have also become KW’s target audience.
4. Why is there a market for traditional Chinese bakery in North America.
5. How does KW relate itself to the rapidly changing economies and consumption patterns in Hong Kong, as well as it relations with Heunggongyan (Hong Kong Chinese people) Community.
6. KW’s new packaging and its association with the Company’s new brand identity.
7. The reasons behind KW’s success, and its association with the concept of “Patriotic Chic”?
|Keywords:||Kee Wah Chinese Bakery, Bakers and Bakeries - Hong Kong (China), Bakers and Bakeries - Marketing, Chinese Diaspora|
Cataloguing Librarian, Assistant Librarian, Cataloguing Section, Lingnan University Library, Hong Kong
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