South Korea Really Loves Pokémon Bread

South Korea Really Loves Pokémon Bread
My kids ate a bunch of Pokémon bread. (Screenshot: 김용녀/YouTube/Kotaku)

For the first time in about twenty years, Pokémon bread has gone back on sale in South Korea. And the snacks are flying off the shelves.

The Pokémon anime didn’t debut in South Korea until 1999 due to the country’s ban on Japanese goods. The bread was available in South Korea around that time through the early 2000s, but stopped being sold after that. Chosun Online reports that Pokémon bread returned to Korean shops in late February 2022, priced at 1,500 won ($US1.22 ($2)) a piece.

Pokémon bread is a popular snack in its native Japan. My kids grew up eating it, and while the bread isn’t that great to be honest, it definitely appeals to fans: Each piece of bread is wrapped in Pocket Monster themed packaging and comes with collectible Pokémon stickers.

According to Chosun Online, in just it’s first week back on sale in South Korea, there were 1.5 million Pokémon bread snacks sold. That’s a lot of bread! What’s reportedly driving the sales are folks in their 20s and 30s who were children when the bread was previously sold in South Korea. Probably out of nostalgia, they’ve snapped up the snack.

On social media and YouTube, fans and influencers have also been posting images and reviews of Pokémon bread. Others have been buying hundreds of Pokémon bread snacks, streaming each sticker they pulled.

All of this probably has further fuelled interest. There are reports of the snacks selling out, with diehards going from convenience store to convenience store in hopes of landing the desirable treat. The stickers are also being sold individually online in South Korea, with some commanding much higher prices. The Squirtle sticker, for example, is said to be going for 15,000 won ($US12.20 ($17)). That’s ten times more expensive than what a piece of the actual bread goes for! To get Pokémon bread stickers like that, you gotta eat ‘em all.

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