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Pokémon bread craze: South Koreans buy 3.5 million in 2 weeks after the snack returns 2 decades later

  • Pokémon bread has returned to South Korea after disappearing from shelves around two decades ago.

  • The Pokémon-themed snack is wrapped in special packaging and comes with collectible stickers.

  • As of March 10, two weeks since its return to South Korean stores, over 3.5 million packs of Pokémon bread had been sold.

  • Celebrities such as BTS’ RM and EXO’s Kai are urging South Korean food company SPC Samlip to produce more of the treat.

Pokémon bread is selling out fast in South Korea after making a comeback that has been two decades in the making.

The treats, which feature characters from the beloved anime and manga series, were last sold in the country in the early 2000s. They hit shelves again in February. 

Sold for 1,500 Korean won (approximately $1.21) each, the Pokémon-themed snacks are wrapped in special packaging and come with prized collectible stickers.

The product, which was originally sold in Japan and aimed at children, made its way to South Korea in 1999 and flew off shelves until production stopped in the early 2000s. 

As of March 10, two weeks since its return to South Korean stores, over 3.5 million packs of Pokémon bread had been sold. The sales were reportedly driven mostly by adult consumers who were children when they were originally sold in the country. 

SPC Samlip, the South Korean food company behind the snack’s local production, is reportedly trying to meet the growing demand for the treats. 

“We are manufacturing Pokemon confectionery 24 hours a day to maximize our production, though, there is a difficulty in catching up with the soaring demand,” a representative of the company said. “We will increase our output to meet our customers’ demand.”

Demand for the snack has been so high that SPC Samlip reportedly prevented retailers from letting customers buy more than two packs per day. 

BTS’ RM and EXO’s Kai are just some of the many fans clamoring on social media for more Pokémon bread. Many have taken to posting videos online about the mostly sold-out product and even streaming the collectible stickers they pull from each package. Social media posts referencing Pokémon bread reportedly totaled over 4,000 on the first day of its official return. 

Collectors who are on the lookout for special animation character stickers in the bread’s packaging have been paying higher amounts on online marketplaces, where each pack typically sells for 3,000 won (approximately $2.41) to 4,000 won (approximately $3.22). Some packs can reportedly even fetch as much as 40,000 won (approximately $32.17).

Featured Image via KOREA countryside vlog

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