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Nongshim’s shrimp crackers ride on Rain’s ‘Gang’ meme, sales up 30%

Nongshim's Shrimp Cracker (Nongshim)
Nongshim's Shrimp Cracker (Nongshim)

The unplanned popularity of K-pop singer Rain’s music video “Gang” has led to a surprising side benefit for Nongshim, towing the sales of its steady-selling shrimp cracker by 30 percent, the company said Wednesday.

According to the South Korean food firm, it saw the sales of its shrimp crackers jump to a record 7 billion won ($5.83 million), up by 30 percent, from May 23 to Tuesday compared to a year earlier.

K-pop star Rain’s “Gang,” which is from his mini-album “My Life” released in 2017, came under the spotlight since late last year, as viewers found the artist’s iconic performance style of exaggerated motions funny. The trend has led to YouTubers creating contents mimicking the choreography and eventually led to memes of “at least one Gang a day.”

As Gang is pronounced as “kkang” in the Korean title, it recently brought attention to Nongshim’s shrimp cracker, which is called “saewoo kkang” in Korean. Nongshim moved fast to hire Rain as the spokesperson for the product, taking in people’s demand.

“On social media, people post proof shots of them buying our shrimp cracker, with hashtags like #1Gangaday, and retailers are also actively promoting the snack,” a Nongshim official said.

The shrimp cracker is the first snack product launched in Korea in 1971. It has since been a national steady-seller, posting about 70 billion won in sales every year, the company said.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)
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