As consumers prepare for the Spring Festival shopping spree, known as ban nian huo in Chinese, consumer brands are actively engaging in competition by infusing traditional and cultural elements into their design and marketing strategies.
"This year, younger consumers have experienced a significant shift in their choice of consumption products in favor of products with innovations and quality updates during the festival season," said Zhu Danpeng, a food and beverage analyst in Guangzhou, Guangdong province. "Products lacking in differentiation and creativity may struggle to engage consumers."
Leading global houseware retailer Ikea introduced a dragon year-themed collection of 30 pieces of multiple categories including dining, decor and textiles. The collection, jointly crafted by international and Chinese designers, draws inspiration from cultural elements of the Song Dynasty (960-1279).
It also incorporates ideas from dancing dragons and pomegranates, wishing good fortune in the new year. One of the highlights is a cushion from a Chinese designer, blending functionality and style with dragon elements.
"Parents can transform into dragon dancers at home by holding the cushion with one arm, creating a playful experience with their children," said Lian Zhelin, a designer at Ikea China.
The Chinese Lunar New Year is a major occasion for eating, drinking and gift giving for family and friends. Coca-Cola China has partnered with post-1990s paper cutting artist Chen Fenwan on Chinese New Year packaging designs, wedding modern expressions with Chinese traditions.
Chen said the creative inspiration was drawn from the traditional segmented structure of dragon-shaped kites. This element served as the basis for designing a circular pattern symbolizing "reunion and completeness", he said.
The designer connected this meaningful circular pattern with the iconic shape of Coca-Cola bottles. Through the use of paper-cutting techniques, such as hollowing and three-dimensional sculpting, a vibrant and auspicious dragon is meticulously crafted, creating a visually stunning effect that blends festive traditions with a modern touch.
Toys are one of the favorite gifting choices for many shoppers. The Danish Lego Group has lined up "Five Fortunes for Chinese New Year" of its products, which includes five Chinese New Year-themed sets.
These meaningful, symbolic cultural models are inspired by the auspicious dragon, money tree, lanterns, traditional Chinese restaurants and jackets, all symbolizing auspiciousness, wealth, happiness, family reunions and good fortune, said the company.
These models reproduce Chinese cultural traditions in rich detail, allowing children to learn more about Chinese New Year customs and evoking fond memories of traditional festivals for adults, Lego added.