The Leading Fresh Pun
I keep seeing this ad for dumplings (水饺), so I finally took a pic:
Here’s the part with the pun, conveniently indicated with quotation marks:
The pun uses the word 领先, meaning “to be in the lead” (ahead of the competition). Adding 者 turns 领先 into 领先者, meaning the “leaders” in the field. In this ad, the 先 (xiān), meaning “first,” is replaced with 鲜 (xiān), meaning “fresh.”
So they’re claiming to be the leaders in freshness when it comes to broth-filled dumplings.
I had to translate 鲜 in quite a few instances, all related to cooking, and “fresh” didn’t appear to be the correct translation; it all referred to the Japanese concept of umami (that as a Japanese speaker you are certainly ware of), this is widely used among Chinese speakers in speech when it comes to describing a particular flavour, often revealed through the use of savoury broths to cook the ingredients.