Gummy bears, gummy cola, gummy sharks, gummy fruit--if we can dream it, we can turn it into a gummy! Or a “jelly,” as they call them in Korea. These low calorie snacks are wildly popular, and have gained a following large enough to build a culture centered on these chewy, tasty treats.
Once thought of as “snacks for only young children”, adults have now chosen this type of sweet candy as one of their most favorite type of sugary sweet.
The popularity of gummy candies can also be spotted on many social media sites. More than 382,000 posts on Instagram have had the hashtag #Jelly in Hangul; meanwhile, the Facebook page "Group of Jellychungs" (Jelly Lovers) has more than 28,000 followers.
Not only have gummy candies taken over social media, they've also become a favorite to viewers when it comes to "meokbang" clips or eating videos.
When we watch meokbang videos, gummy candies satisfy our eyes, and also help calm us down. Studies have shown that constant chewing affects our brain functions by lowering the level of cortisol, the stress hormone. Konjac, a gelatin substitute, has also seen a rise in its use in jellies, popular among those who like their sweets with less calories.
Taking a cue from Germany’s Haribo, South Korean confectioners began brewing up their own brand of jelly snacks, taking flavors and shapes beyond what had been imagined before. Gummy worms, make room! In addition to beloved shapes like bears, frogs, cherries, and stars, Korea loaded shelves with tastes based on Yakult yogurt drinks, ice cream, banana milk, and yes, even Kkokkalcorn chips!
It just goes to show that gummy sweets aren't just tasty treat, but they also have made a way for the Korean confectionery industry to grow and thrive!
What are some of your favorite jelly snacks?
Let us know in the comments below!