by REERA YOO | @reeraboo
Remember those savory Honey Butter Chips that have been flying off store shelves in South Korea? Well, food manufacturer Nongshim made a knockoff of Haetae’s famous honey-flavored chips, and it’s been reportedly outselling the original.
According to Nongshim, it sold 3.6 million bags of chips of its honey mustard-flavored “Sumi Potato Chips” in a month since launching the snack in mid-December. That’s about 8.6 billion won (USD $7.94 million) in sales, making Nongshim the record holder for having the highest monthly sales in the Korean snack industry.
Haetae’s Honey Butter Chips first appeared in stores back in August and went viral after social media users praised the snack for its balance of salty, sweet and buttery flavors. The chips quickly became the nation’s most popular snack, selling out within minutes after reaching the shelves and causing online vendors to jack up the prices.
Despite its popularity, Haetae said it has been unable to outsell Nongshim’s knockoff due to its lack of production facilities. The company believes that consumers have turned to copied versions of Honey Butter Chips because the original is nearly impossible to find in stores, according to Yonhap.
Haetae, however, is planning to reclaim its position as South Korea’s No. 1 maker of potato chips with its other honey-flavored snack, “Honey Tong Tong.” Officials expect the new snack to bring up sales by 3.8 billion won.