Muktæggang Chips: Flavor Revolution for the irresistibly crunchy new chips!

Do you recall the snack sensation of 2014, the Honey Butter Chip? Honey Butter Chip was a snack sensation characterized by the harmonious blend of rich buttery flavor and sweet honey drizzled over crispy potato chips. Since that time, South Korea has seen its fair share of food trends, from Gompyo Beer and Pokémon Bread to Asahi Beer, captivating the hearts and palates of the nation. However, it’s been a while since we’ve witnessed the resurgence of snack items like the Honey Butter Chip that have captured the popularity of the entire nation.

There’s a snack that’s causing quite a stir – Muktæggang chips (먹태깡). This snacks fall into the category of “Anju,” traditionally enjoyed by adults as accompaniments to alcoholic beverages, but they’ve been cleverly transformed into snack-sized delights.

Currently Mutaeggang is so sought after that they’re being traded at premium prices on online marketplaces, showcasing their immense popularity. Now, there’s a word of caution to heed. The original price for a 60g bag of Muktæggang chips is 1700 Korean Won, and they have been flying off the shelves faster than you can imagine. However, before you rush to pay three or even four times the original price to ride the wave, we recommend a bit of patience. Just as with the Honey Butter Chip of yesteryears, which at one point seemed to have astronomical resale prices, the Muktæggang chips too may follow a similar trajectory.

But what’s the fuss all about? Let’s delve deeper and discover the story behind these snack sensations.

I recently embarked on a quest to try these intriguing snacks for myself. Muktæggang chips required me to visit several convenience stores in my neighborhood, but fortunately, I managed to purchase them at their original price. I was genuinely intrigued by all the hype surrounding this snack. With high expectations, I took my first bite, only to find myself somewhat disappointed with the taste. Now, I’m no culinary expert, so please take my words as personal observations. In my opinion, it tasted remarkably similar to Saewookkang (shrimp crackers, 새우깡) but with a significantly spicier kick, due to its Cheongyang chili peppper flaver. This led me to ponder: What is it about Muktæggang snack that makes it so wildly popular?


Understanding Muktæ

Muktæ originates from the fish species called “Myeongtae” or “pollock.” Muktæ is Myeongtae that has turned black during the drying process due to factors like weather conditions. It’s known for its smooth texture. It was usually eaten as an Anju, thus considered more of an ‘adult food’ than for children. Thus, turning this traditional Anju item into a snack was no small feat, especially considering the conventional perception that snacks are for kids.


Changing Demographics and Consumer Trends

However, the landscape is evolving, with a declining birthrate reshaping the demographics. Children are no longer the primary consumers of snacks. In fact, South Korea recently recorded an all-time low in the total fertility rate during the second quarter, standing at 0.7 children per woman. Conversely, the Millennial and Generation Z (MZ) cohorts, who were once born in the range of the 1980s to the early 2000s, are now entering middle age. Targeting adults seems to hold more potential for success in this new era.

Anju snacks have piqued the curiosity of the MZ generation, mainly because the concept of turning Anju into snacks is quite novel. In fact, when Muktæggang chips first launched, social media platforms were flooded with reviews and even famous influencers used them as content for mukbang (eating show) videos. People aren’t necessarily craving these snacks; they’re driven by the desire to try something new.

The scarcity of these products, especially when they become difficult to acquire, fuels the determination of young consumers. This phenomenon is often referred to as the “challenge effect,” where people are motivated to share their success in obtaining limited or hard-to-find items on social media. Similar situations occur with exclusive sneakers and other products, turning the challenge of purchase into an unintentional “sold-out marketing” strategy.


So, there’s nothing particularly extraordinary about the taste (again, this is solely my personal opinion). However, due to its immense popularity, many people are intrigued, and I was too. So, if you’re curious about this snack, I recommend giving it a try for fun. Perhaps it might suit your palate. Nevertheless, it’s essential to keep in mind that trends and consumer demand can be quite unpredictable. Therefore, if you’re thinking of trying Muktæggang, I suggest waiting until the hype settles down and the chips return to their original price range. It’s a prudent choice that could save you a significant amount while still allowing you to enjoy this snack sensation at a more reasonable cost.

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