When I first moved to Korea in August 2010, I wasn’t surprised to see Coke or McDonald’s or Starbucks, but I didn’t expect KFC or Dunkin Donuts or Baskin Robins. Nor did I expect Quizno’s, Subway, or Taco Bell, but they’re here too, and I’ve even spotted 2 Krispy Kremes.
They’re not replicas of home (aloe ice cream, olive doughnuts, bulgogi burgers) though the big difference I first noticed on menus and ads was not these “weird” items but the lack of massive meals or large portions in general. This goes for the South Asian and Korean food brands as well.
In the past few months though, I’ve noticed some serious changes in that initial observation.
Now, I work at a pretty major subway station in my area. There’s a big department store, a lot of banks, parks, and housing nearby. There’s also a KFC, a Baskin Robins, and a Dunkin Donuts I walk by to get to work each day, a McDonald’s in the bottom of the department store, and a Starbucks down the block that sells but doesn’t list ‘venti’ as a size option.
However, just last week, I noticed that the Dunkin Donuts is offering a “size up” set with a large coffee and a Big Dunk doughnut which is just massive and advertised as having 30% more filling. These things are larger than some of my student’s faces. Next door, KFC has pictures of Big Mouth, Maxx, and Tower burgers plastering the windows. I’ve even seen bigger cans of soda appearing in convenience stores. But nothing prepared me for spotting this behemoth:
Do they have these things in America? Even though I’m a little out of touch, surely I wouldn’t have missed the controversy? Remember the flurry of reporting that surrounded the KFC Double-down? Yeah.
I’m hardly the first person to notice that waistlines are expanding worldwide, but the fact that these are in Korea (or exist) shocked me. FOUR beef patties?
Methinks UNIQLO may have to start stocking pants above a 27 inch waistband soon.