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Mukbangs — Why do they continue to be so popular?

The sound of eating and watching other people eat might drive some people crazy, however for a while in Korea it has been a highly profitable and popular sensory experience. We break down why this phenomenon of watching others eating copious amounts of savory foods has continued to capture popular culture and our team member, Lewis, shares his mukbang experience!

Photo: Youtube
Photo: Youtube

Originating in Korea, people started to film themselves eating, for others to watch. Over the years, it has been considered entertainment by many people in Korea, and with the rise in social media, more and more people have been taking part and filming their own mukbangs.

The term "mukbang" originates from two words "muk" (to eat 먹다) and "bang" (to broadcast 방송).

Social Interaction

Mukbangs allow people to communicate with each other through watching and commenting on videos together, or perhaps directly with the streamer through live videos. For many Koreans, it's common to eat alone, so interaction with other people from the comfort of their own homes or offices has become a comfortable solution.

Appealing Food

A mukbang video without appealing food is just like watching a movie with no story to it. Without the appetizing food that people will see, they might not be interested in watching or creating a mukbang video on social media.

With all the good-looking and delicious food out there, some mukbang videos become viral because of the food itself, which of course is good news for the streamer.

Now based on the two main reasons above as to why mukbangs are popular, I have actually taken part in two myself. For me, I was recited as I had heard many Koreans talk about watching them, and although it felt strange being recorded eating at first, I easily got into the swing of things!

The first mukbang that I did was at QooQoo all you can eat seafood buffet in Sangam. The selection of seafood and meat was incredible, and I would recommend making a reservation and heading there yourself!

The second was in Hongdae at an all-you-can-eat tteotbokki and fish cake restaurant. This was perfect during the winter months, and the selection of food was varied and good quality!

Both were so much fun to film, and I will look forward to filming another one soon. Please check out the videos, and leave a comment!

Let us know in the comments below if you have ever watched or starred in a mukbang! Also, what Korean foods would you like us to cover or try?


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