Animation maker

‘Pokemon’ bread maker hits record sales

The “Pokemon Bread”, made by South Korean food company SPC Samlip, has captured the hearts and minds of South Korean consumers since its launch in late February, thanks to the stickers inside the packaged pastry. Photo courtesy of SPC Samlip

SEOUL, May 13 (UPI) — South Korean food company SPC Samlip reported record sales in the first quarter of this year amid the popularity of “Pokémon bread”, which includes Pokémon stickers inside its packaging.

The Seoul-based company said on Tuesday it posted sales of $568 million in the first three months of this year for a record quarterly figure. The increase represents an 11.1% jump from a year ago.

Its operating profit and net profit also rose 30.1% and 25.3% year-on-year, respectively.

The bakery and food distribution departments sustained the good performance. In particular, Pokemon Bread, which includes seven types of pastries, has contributed a lot since its launch in late February.

In the week following its debut, Pokemon Bread sales hit 1.5 million, rising to 8.4 million at the end of March. In April, monthly sales approached 10 million.

Pokemon is a series of video games released in the late 1990s. It has also been adapted into a popular animated series, movies, and the spin-off game “Pokemon Go”.

Many South Korean consumers are trying to collect a full set of 159 Pokemon stickers inside SPC Samlip products, and the company is struggling to keep up with the growing demand.

“The popularity of Pokemon bread is expected to continue for the time being, as so many people are crazy about collecting the stickers,” Inha University professor Lee Eun-hee told UPI News Korea.

“Currently, the full set of stickers is only 159. But the number may increase to cause the popularity of stickers to rise again. It’s quite an interesting phenomenon,” she said.

As COVID-19 shows signs of slowing this year in South Korea, the retail sector has rebounded, as demonstrated by Hyundai Department Store Group, the country’s leading department store brand.

The group achieved a turnover of 727 million dollars in the first quarter, up 36.8% compared to the previous year. Its operating profit also reached $69 million, up 36.7%.