Lotte WellFood Co
11th of November, or 11.11, is widely known as Pepero Day in Korea and has been around long before Single’s Day was heavily advertised in New Zealand. Ever since I could remember, 11th of November was a day where my friends and I exchanged the easy-to-eat but addictive treat, Pepero; a popular stick snack in Korea where a plain, long, thin cracker stick is dipped in chocolate. Over the years, the flavours evolved and has increased from just the original Pepero to now Cookies & Cream, Peanut flavour and so much more. But did you know that Pepero Day was not always a day for lovers and friends to exchange gifts?
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It's unclear the origins of how Pepero Day started. Some say it’s a big and clever marketing scheme created by the Lotte Corporation to achieve their sales as Lotte is a huge company in Korea. The brand can be seen everywhere such as Lotte Department stores, Lotte World and so on. According to sources, this is the day Lotte Corporation makes more than 30% of their sales for Pepero and local convenience stores also meet their sales targets for the year.
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Some also say Pepero Day originated roughly around 1994 where two friends exchanged Pepero wanting to be as tall as thin as the snacks! Back in the days, apparently it was thought to believe that if you ate 11 Peperos under 11 seconds at 11:11am your desire to be as tall and thin as a Pepero stick would come true 😂
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I remember all too well back in the days when I spent a day making Pepero for my boyfriend with my friends. It was a fun bonding activity where we killed two birds with one stone - having a girl’s day while making something for your sweetheart. Along with making memories like that, in social events, The Pepero Game, or Pepero Kiss Game was a popular game played during November. This is where two people each place one end of a Pepero in their mouth and take turns biting the Pepero until their lips come closer and closer together. It’s like a Korean version of the iconic spaghetti scene in the movie The Lady and The Tramp! The aim is to see which team can get the Pepero to the shortest length 😬
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The origins of Pepero day may be different from the Pepero day we know of today, but despite the history of how this day originated, it’s widely celebrated today. It’s a day when you are able to gift your loved one snacks symbolising “we are better together.” Just like Valentine’s Day, it is a pretty commercial day and not a public holiday, but it’s an awesome day to have the joy of gift giving and also just to express your love and gratitude to one another!