‘Please stop buying kimbap. I go to buy it every day, but it’s sold out every day… .’
This is what an American consumer recently expressed on Reddit, an American social networking service ( SNS ). The object that has been selling out continuously and becoming a hot topic on social media is none other than Korean frozen gimbap. This is a newly released product from the American supermarket Trader Joe’s, and is gaining attention on local social media .
“4 dollars”… Cheap and Easy ‘Frozen Gimbap’
Trader Joe’s began selling the kimbap in early August after receiving it from a Korean company, and it sold out quickly after launch. Currently, due to a shortage of stock, a notice has been posted online saying, “Restock will be scheduled for October 25th.” The local media that reported this quoted a Trader Joe’s employee as saying, “You can often see customers buying kimbap in large quantities at once.” As the popularity of the product increases, its scarcity, which is not easily available, seems to have attracted greater attention.
The fact that it is different from regular kimbap is also an element that attracts attention. If you look at the product description on the Trader Joe’s website, first of all, this kimbap is a ‘vegetarian kimbap’ that does not contain meat, eggs, or fish. It contains stewed tofu, burdock, carrots, spinach, etc. This is a feature that may attract attention from locals looking for vegetarian or gluten -free food.
The price is also cheap. The price of a product containing 9 pieces of kimbap is $3.99 (about 5,000 won). Compared to the $7 to $12 price of kimbap sold at local Korean grocery stores, the price is less than half or one-third.
In particular, because it is ‘frozen kimbap’, it can be stored longer than regular kimbap, and because it is frozen, the way to eat it is also different. According to the product introduction, the kimbap can be eaten warmed in the microwave for 2 minutes or slightly chilled. If you want a richer texture, you can fry it in a frying pan with oil, and it goes well with sriracha sauce, red pepper paste, and soy sauce.
The explanation that emphasizes the difference from Japanese sushi rolls is also먹튀검증 noteworthy. In the product introduction, ‘Kimbap looks similar to a sushi roll, but it is clearly different. “While sushi or sushi rolls generally focus on one filling, such as vinegar rice, fish, or vegetables, kimbap combines rice mixed with sesame oil with various ingredients to create a harmonious taste.”
“Warm it up, fry it, eat it… “I was surprised by how delicious it was” vs “It’s different from traditional kimbap”
Due to the product’s popularity, social media platforms such as Reddit and TikTok are flooded with posts discussing the difficulties of purchasing. On Reddit, ‘I really wanted to try it, so I went to the store early, but it was sold out at 8:40 am’, ‘I called the store and they said the kimbap wouldn’t be available until the end of October’, ‘The woman in front of me at the store ordered about 15 pieces. There are comments saying that they failed to purchase the product, such as ‘I took it.’ On the other hand, there are many reviews of successful purchases. Most of the responses are positive, such as ‘I was surprised that it was so delicious’, ‘My family’s new favorite product, it’s a really easy and cheap lunch’, ‘It’s a trend’, and ‘I like it because it’s gluten-free’.
Unlike regular kimbap, it requires a single heating process, so opinions on the product recipe are also hot. They post opinions such as ‘The best way is to microwave it for 30 seconds to 1 minute and then fry it in a pan’ or ‘It is best to fry it and dip it in sriracha sauce’ or suggest their own recipes.
Of course, there are some negative opinions. ‘You can never eat reheated kimbap, soggy kimbap’, ‘The kimbap sold in Korea is not this kind of frozen kimbap’, ‘Traditional Korean kimbap is not served with sauce. You can also see comments such as ‘I just eat kimbap’.
Regarding this, an official from the New York branch of the Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Trade Corporation ( aT ) said through the Herald Economy, “Now, in New York, it is easy to access unique Korean menu names such as gimbap, tteokbokki, and soft tofu stew. “The new product released by Trader Joe’s also used the proper noun ‘Gimbap,’ and in Brooklyn, New York, gimbap specialty stores that use the name ‘gimbap’ are gaining popularity,” he said . According to IBIS
World, an American market research company, the Korean food industry in the United States has shown steady growth, posting sales of $5.7 billion (approximately KRW 7.5582 trillion) in 2020. One of the many growth factors was the popularity of Korean food on social media .