Honey Butter Chips

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Honey Butter Chips (허니버터칩) (also known as 허니버터칩 in Korea, ポテトチップスしあわせバター, Happiness Butter Potato Chips in Japan)[1] is a brand of fried potato chips manufactured by Haitai Calbee and sold in South Korea. The chips were first available in August 2014, and they are renowned for their rise to popularity through SNS viral marketing from late 2014 to early 2015. The company behind this creation was Korean Haitai in a joint effort with Japanese snack manufacturer Calbee. This snack was so popular that it created a trend called the Honey-Butter Craze among South Koreans.[2]

Haitai-Calbee Joint Ventures[edit]

Calbee previously produced a Honey Butter Chip in 2012 for the Japanese market. Calbee set up a joint venture with Haitai and expanded its snack market to Korea in order to increase profits in the Japanese snack market.[3][4]

Honey Butter Craze[edit]

The Honey-Butter Craze, or Honey Butter Yeolpung (or craze, Korean: 열풍, Chinese: 熱風) describes a craze brought by Honey Butter Chip which first came out in Korea in August 2014. The formal version of Honey Butter Chip named ‘Happiness Butter Potato Chips’ was produced by Calbee in Japan, 2012. This honey flavored buttery potato chip did not gain popularity in Japan and was only sold during a limited period of time.[5] However, when Honey Butter Chip was introduced in Korea by Haitai-Calbee in August 2014, it got an explosive response from the young consumers and quickly spread through Social-Network-Service during the last quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015. Haitai-Calbee enjoyed a tremendous popularity with Honey Butter Chip that it was not available in stores and they were being resold online for three times of its original price.[6]

Although limited in production and supply, this product has taken over the Korean market. To meet the demand, Haitai-Calbee plans to build a factory in South Korea. This new facility is set to begin operation in early 2016.[7]

After ‘Honey Butter Chip’ released in August, Haitai-Calbee has officially announced that its sales on January and February in 2015 have reached 23 billion won (USD 20.3 million), and has forecast of sales of one hundred billion won (USD one hundred million) by year-end.[8]

Celebrity Influence[edit]

The Honey Butter Craze rose exponentially when Korean celebrities started endorsing the product. K-pop stars such as Sooyoung of Girls' Generation, Siwon of Super Junior, and T-ara's Hyomin began posing in selfies with gilded Honey Butter bags propped beside their cheeks and posting the pictures online. Actress So Yoo-Jin posted a picture of a bag on her Instagram. A popular news broadcaster for KBS even proclaimed that she was “laughing and crying over one bag of chips” and uploaded a picture of herself holding up the famously elusive golden yellow bag. [9] On the May 23rd broadcast of MBC's My Little Television, rock singer Jung Joon Young reviewed and compared many types of honey butter flavored snacks in the Korean snack market.[10]

Limited supply[edit]

The product has gone viral through Social-Network-Services and earned its popularity in Korea.[11] Haitai-Calbee had to temporarily suspend its order in November 2014 because of overwhelming demand.[12] "Honey Butter Chip may be one of the most difficult products to buy these days”, said a Korean convenient store owner. And many convenience stores put up paper signs with “Honey Butter Chip, sold out”.[13] Some stores made ‘Honey Butter Chip waiting list’ for customers and limited the selling quantity as one bag for a person.[14] In January 2015, a so-called “Honey Butter Chip-Hunting” smartphone app was launched. The app tells the availability of the product at near convenience stores. More than 10,000 people had downloaded the app.[15] Due to the scarcity, in December 2014, Honey Butter Chip is traded back and forth on e-commerce websites at inflated prices. On eBay, which does not provide South-Korea shipping service, you need to pay $50 for a 60-gram bag of the chip of which the original price is about $1.36.[16]

To keep up with the huge demand of Honey Butter Chip, Haitai-Calbee has raise its production by three times and put its production line in full operation for 24 hours.[17] Although the product was in short supply, the company did not further increase production because the actual demand is not obvious and crazes can be short-lived.[18]

Line Extensions[edit]

  • Jagabee Honey Mild
    • Honey butter potato fries created by Haitai-Calbee
  • Honey Tong Tong
    • Ridged triangle potato chips created by Haitai (not joint with Calbee) after the viral popularity of Honey Butter Chips

Canada Maple Syrup Special Edition flavor

Cherry Blossom Special Edition flavor

Competitor Products[edit]

After Honey Butter Chip became famous, many companies have produced similar products which plagiarize the name, design, and flavor of its original [19] to take advantage of the popularity of Honey Butter Chip.[20] The word ‘Honey Butter’ are used by companies to promote their food products to the consumers as if it is a magic spell for high sales of product.[21] A major Korean food maker, Nongshim has launched ‘Sumi Chip Honey Mustard’ in December, whose taste is similar to Honey Butter Chip. Unlike Honey Butter Chip, Sumi chip was easier to find in many stores. Therefore, consumers started to buy Sumi chip as a replacement. The Sumi Chip became more popular than its original, and sold four times more than the Honey Butter Chip with average of ten thousands pack per day. Nongshim has achieved the new record of having the greatest monthly sales in the Korean snack industry.[22] Because of the supply shortage and many other copy products, Honey Butter Chip which once had the highest sales during the last quarter of 2014 fell to the third place in the snack sales of January and February, 2015.[23]

  • NongShim "Sumi Potato Chips"
    • Due to the limited manufacturing of the original Honey Butter Chips, the product became increasingly difficult to find, prompting South Korean food manufacturer NongShim to release their own similar product in mass volumes. With the widespread availability of NongShim's chips, Sumi Potato Chips overtook Honey Butter Chips in sales.[24]
  • Lotte "Honey Drunken Potato Chips" (꿀먹은 감자칩)

Other products are not only limited in the area of confectioneries and food products, but even in other goods such as cosmetic products made of Honey and Butter,[25] and furniture designed in the shape of pack of Honey Butter Chip.[26]

Recipes on YouTube[edit]

During the craze, homemade Honey Butter Chip recipes began to be posted on YouTube.[27] Using ingredients that can be easily found, people can make their own potato chips with similar flavors to the original product.


  1. ^ 알려지지 않은 '허니버터칩' 탄생 사연. Wiki tree. Retrieved November 18, 2014
  2. ^ 허니버터칩 열풍, 품귀 현상에 끼워 팔기까지 등장! ‘열풍 언제까지 이어질까?.Moneytoday Network Inc. Retrieved November 26, 2014
  3. ^ http://www.potatopro.com/news/2011/calbee-and-haitai-form-joint-venture-produce-chips-south-korea
  4. ^ Establishment of Korean Joint Venture Company by CALBEE, Inc
  5. ^ 잘 알려지지 않은 '허니버터칩' 탄생 사연. Wiki tree. Retrieved November 18, 2014
  6. ^ Honey Butter Chips: Six things to know. The Korea Times. Retrieved November 23, 2014
  7. ^ http://www.potatopro.com/news/2015/haitai-calbee-build-snack-factory-south-korea-meet-soaring-demand
  8. ^ Sale of Honey Butter Chip will reach 100 billion won by the end of year 2015. Asiatoday. Retrieved March 6, 2015
  9. ^ http://munchies.vice.com/articles/korean-honey-butter-chip-hysteria-has-created-a-snack-black-market
  10. ^ http://bntnews.hankyung.com/apps/news?popup=0&nid=04&c1=04&c2=04&c3=00&nkey=201505231519083&mode=sub_view
  11. ^ It’s snack time in Korea. The Korea Herald. Retrieved February 4, 2015
  12. ^ ‘허니버터칩’ 물량 부족 일시 발주중단.. 제과업계’들썩’ . 경제투데이. Retrieved November 13, 2014
  13. ^ Honey Butter Chip - sorry, sold out!. The Korea Times. Retrieved December 24, 2014
  14. ^ ‘대박’ 허니버터칩 증산 안 하는 이유? Archived 2015-04-03 at the Wayback Machine.. 한겨레뉴스. Retrieved December 30, 2014
  15. ^ '허니버터칩 재고' 알려주는 앱까지 등장. Wikitree. Retrieved November 22, 2014
  16. ^ Honey Butter Chip - sorry, sold out!. The Korea Times. Retrieved December 24, 2014
  17. ^ 중독되는 그 맛… '허니버터칩'의 건강학. Hankookilbo. Retrieved December 29, 2014
  18. ^ Honey Butter Chip - sorry, sold out!. The Korea Times. Retrieved December 24, 2014
  19. ^ 허니버터칩 차용 “짝퉁마케팅”열풍, 대책없나. Sisafocus. Retrieved January 14, 2015
  20. ^ 허니버터칩 차용 “짝퉁마케팅”열풍, 대책없나. Sisafocus. Retrieved January 14, 2015
  21. ^ 이름 갖다 붙이기 열풍 계속…라면,휴지,통까지 선거에도 나올판. 국민일보. Retrieved March 6, 2015
  22. ^ 허니버터칩, 수미칩 허니머스타드에 밀렸다. 아주경제. Retrieved January 8, 2015
  23. ^ 허니버터칩, 수미칩 허니머스타드에 밀렸다. 아주경제. Retrieved January 8, 2015
  24. ^ http://www.koreatimesus.com/nongshim-outdoes-original-honey-butter-chips/
  25. ^ 화장품도 허니 버터 열풍. Metroseoul. Retrieved January 18, 2015
  26. ^ 해태제과, 허니 인기 편승 '고가' 허니버터칩 쿠션까지 판매.아시아경제. Retrieved March 10, 2015
  27. ^ Honey butter potato chips recipe 생감자로 허니버터칩 만들기 蜂蜜バターポテトチップを作成する方法 [4K]

External links[edit]