With the eagerly anticipated second season of Squid Game set to drop on 22nd of November, there’s been a remarkable surge in British interest in Korean cuisine. This trend, paralleling the drama’s meteoric rise since its launch in 2021, has been notably captured in recent research by HelloFresh. The study not only sheds light on the increasing popularity of Korean dishes in the UK but also offers expert tips from Mimi Morley, senior recipe development manager at HelloFresh, on how to cook these dishes at home.
Netflix’s Squid Game, a gripping Korean survival drama, became an instant global hit upon its release in 2021. Its success marked a significant moment in cultural exchange, leading to the inclusion of 26 Korean words in the Oxford English Dictionary. This event highlighted the expanding influence of Korean pop culture on global tastes and preferences, including the culinary world.
HelloFresh’s research indicates a remarkable upswing in the UK’s interest in Korean food following the premiere of Squid Game. Searches for Korean cuisine staples such as “Korean rice” soared by 1,000%, while “Beachu-kimchi” queries rose nearly 2,000%. This trend reflects a broader curiosity and enthusiasm for Korean dishes across the UK.
The research further reveals year-on-year increases in popularity for specific Korean delicacies since the launch of the show. Dishes such as Kimbap (seaweed rice rolls), Bulgogi (thin marinated slices of meat), Japchae (stir-fried glass noodles), and Kimchi (salted and fermented vegetables) have seen significant growth in interest.
HelloFresh’s data uncovers the most searched-for Korean foods in the UK. Kimchi leads the searches, followed by Korean BBQ, Bibimbap, Tteokbokki, and Bulgogi, among others. This data demonstrates a diverse and growing fascination with Korean cuisine among Brits.
Mimi Morley from HelloFresh comments on the data, stating: “It’s interesting to see how Korean entertainment has affected Brits’ food cravings, and it’s clear that Korean food is one of the most popular cuisines to cook at the moment.
“TV programmes, like Squid Game, are a prime example of how Brits can be inspired by all areas of life when it comes to finding new food to cook, including the latest Netflix hit. One of our key focuses at HelloFresh is to make cooking new dishes exciting, and we’re proud to inspire our customers to give Korean food a try.”
In line with this growing trend, HelloFresh has introduced a variety of Korean recipes. Their selection includes Bulgogi Chicken and Mushroom Stir Fry, Sizzling Sesame Korean Beef, andMini Korean Style BBQ, tailored to cater to the diverse palates of their UK customers.