According to a report from CCTV On Finance on November 14th, Chinese Tanghulu (literally meaning "sugar gourd") has surpassed the popular local snack stir-fried rice cakes in popularity among South Korean consumers, leading many to recognize the business opportunities and open their own Tanghulu shops.
One of the commercial districts in Sinchon, Seoul, best reflects the consumption trends of Korean youth. It has been revealed that unlike the common Tanghulu sold in China, which uses hawthorns and bean paste as ingredients, the ones sold in Korea are mainly made with fruits. Shop owners explained to reporters that the best-selling variety is the sugar-coated hawthorn made by skewering whole oranges. A single skewer is priced at 4,000 Korean won (approximately 22 Chinese yuan), with about 200 skewers being sold per day.
Despite the price, Tanghulu's crispy texture and visually appealing appearance have contributed to its soaring popularity. According to the statistics from the Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Trade Corporation for the first five months of this year, teenagers aged ten and above prefer Chinese Tanghulu over the traditional Korean snack stir-fried rice cakes. Many parents said that their children would buy a skewer of Tanghulu to enjoy while walking home from school.
Both children and young adults are fond of these sugar-coated hawthorns. Recent data from a market research agency in Korea shows that the sales of Tanghulu have increased more than tenfold in the past five months. Additionally, there have been tweets on Korean social media about homemade Tanghulu and the development of sugar-free versions, which has attracted much attention.
Thanks to the high popularity of Tanghulu, the selling shops have obtained quite substantial profits. Some shops can earn a net income of around 30,000 Chinese yuan per month. Plus, with the relatively low investment compared to other types of businesses, the Tanghulu trend has sparked a surge of interest in Korean entrepreneurship.
The latest data indicates that as of October, the number of representative Tanghulu brand stores in Korea has increased more than tenfold within one year, reaching over 420. In recent years, various types of Chinese cuisine have gained popularity in Korea, making delicious Chinese food a new hot trend for entrepreneurship in the country.
In addition, data from an analysis service agency for network keyword search reveals that in late June to early July of this year, searches for "Tanghulu" on the internet increased by 1459% compared to the same period last year. On some video platforms, videos of the making and mukbang (eating streaming) of Tanghulu garnered over eight million views in a short period, demonstrating immense popularity.
Korean experts attribute the widespread appeal of sugar-coated hawthorns to the satisfying crunch of the sugar coating when bitten into, which brings a sense of pleasure. Moreover, the distinctive method of piercing different fruits onto bamboo sticks and subsequently immersing them into properly-cooked syrup, which results in a sweet and crispy coating after cooling, coupled with their bright and diverse hues, immediately stimulates one's craving for food.
来源 | 羊城晚报·羊城派综合央视财经、央视新闻
翻译 | 陈萱
责编 | 王楠 戚美青
校对 | 苏敏