A drink that most, if not all, South Koreans know and love is the Banana Flavored milk. One of the best sellers in stores, the flavored milk can be considered as Korea’s national beverage.
Photo via Binggrae
Created in 1974 by Binggrae when many South Koreans were suffering from malnutrition, Banana Flavored Milk (aka Banana milk) became a hit as many preferred the sweetened milk over plain milk. The fact that Banana was a fruit for the upperclass at the time, and the interesting design that imitated the traditional jar known as “Hanggari” also greatly helped in boosting its sales.
Photo via Playwares: Shampoo
At its first introduction, the milk did not have any trace of Banana and only after the new food product law in 2010, Binggrae began to use Banana for its flavor. Even though there are barely any traces of Banana in the milk, and despite the emergence of many similar beverages, the sweet nostalgic flavor that basically has not changed over time has kept Banana milk in the top shelves with fans playfully calling it as the “Grenade Milk” or “Fat Banana”.
Keeping up with its popularity, Banana milk is always promoted by top celebrities, which include top idols such as Girl’s Generation, popular actor Lee Min-ho, and other famous comedians and actors.
Banana milk is slowly becoming available worldwide in a somewhat ordinary packaging as shown above, and the milk is said to be particularly popular with people from Japan. If you happen to visit Korea or come across these flavored milk, it shouldn’t hurt to try them out and discover why it is so incredibly popular.