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'Pokemon bread' maker logs record sales

By Kim Yoon-kyoung & Kim Tae-gyu, UPI News Korea
'Pokemon bread' maker logs record sales
"Pokemon bread," made by South Korean food company SPC Samlip, has won 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 announced record sales during the first quarter of this year amid the popularity of "Pokemon bread," which includes Pokemon stickers inside its packaging.

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

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

The bakery and food distribution departments supported the strong performances. In particular, Pokemon bread, which includes seven types of pastries, has contributed much since its launch in late February.

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In the week after its debut, sales of Pokemon bread reached 1.5 million, rising to 8.4 million by the end of March. In April, the monthly sales neared 10 million.

Pokemon is a series of video games published in the late 1990s. It was also adapted into a popular animation series, films and the spinoff game "Pokemon Go."

Many South Korean consumers are trying to collect a complete set of 159 Pokemon stickers inside the SPC Samlip products, and the company has struggled to meet the rising demand.

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"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 complete set of stickers is just 159. But the number can increase to cause renewed popularity of the stickers. This is quite an interesting phenomenon," she said.

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

RELATED 'Pokemon Scarlet' and 'Violet' coming to Nintendo Switch in late 2022

The group racked up $727 million in sales in the first quarter, up 36.8% from a year before. Its operating profit also reached $69 million, up 36.7%.

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