Advertising spending in Hong Kong for mooncakes, the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival delicacy, reached an all-time high this year. The share of campaigns for the popular 'snowy', fruit-filled and other non-traditional mooncakes, which are served cold, closed the gap with those for the diet-busting, salted duck's egg-based traditional ones. Media-monitoring firm admanGo estimated spending on mooncake-related advertising was a record HK$91.51 million from May to August this year, up 59.75 per cent from HK$57.28 million a year earlier. It said the much-improved economy and growing influx of mainland shoppers spurred the overall increase in local advertising for mooncakes. 'Hong Kong-made mooncakes have become a must-buy souvenir for mainland travellers in the run-up to the Mid-Autumn Festival,' said Jennifer Ma, the director of sales and marketing at admanGo. In a survey published in February by market research firm Nielsen, the average expenditure per stay of mainland tourists in Hong Kong was calculated to be HK$12,000. Some 59 per cent of that amount is allocated for shopping. Ivy Wong, a researcher at admanGo, said marketers opted to widen the variety of mooncakes being advertised, which resulted in the non-traditional version of the Mid-Autumn pastry gaining a 42 per cent share of spending in May to August from 30 per cent the previous year. Traditional mooncakes took a 58 per cent share during the same period, down from 70 per cent a year ago. Wing Wah emerged as the most prominent advertiser. Its campaigns totalled HK$17.86 million in May to August. The top advertiser for non-traditional mooncakes this year was Maxim's Caterers, Hong Kong's largest food and beverage firm and restaurant chain. The firm, a subsidiary of Dairy Farms International Holdings, saw its campaigns grow 160 per cent year on year to HK$9.99 million. It outspent last year's non-traditional mooncake advertising leader Wing Wah, a restaurant chain operator that started selling mooncakes at its Yuen Long shop in the 1950s. Second-ranked Wing Wah, which first sold its so-called icy mooncakes in 2007, posted a 65 per cent advance in spending to HK$9.07 million. Taipan Bread & Cakes, which introduced the world's first snowy mooncakes in 1989, took third place again this year. The company, however, recorded the highest rate of increase in spending at 235 per cent to HK$8.4 million. Hong Kong's biggest advertiser for traditional mooncakes remains Kee Wah Bakery, which has versatile Hong Kong actor Eric Tsang Chi-wai as its pitchman. The family-run Kee Wah's campaigns grew 29 per cent year-on-year to HK$11.93 million. It was followed by Hong Kong-listed Tao Heung Holdings, which operates restaurants, bakeries and food-catering services. Campaigns by Tao Heung, which also owns acclaimed egg tarts vendor Tai Cheong Bakery, advanced 58 per cent to HK$9.62 million. Third-ranked Wing Wah, which was the first in the market to start using vegetable oil and lotus seed in traditional mooncakes in 1963, increased its campaigns by 35 per cent to HK$8.78 million.