Surfing through YouTube will inevitably lead to you coming across videos where people are devouring large portions of food on camera. Wondering what's that all about?

Here’s your answer: these videos are a part of the famous Mukbang AKA eating show trend introduced by South Koreans back in 2010. Mukbang is a portmanteau of muk-ja (let's eat) and bang-song (broadcast), and refers to YouTube videos where individuals eat while interacting with their viewers.


Let’s Talk Numbers

We dug deeper to get more insights about the Mukbang trend; here are some of the numbers we came across:

  1. According to Spoon University, KEEMI, a famous Korean-American YouTuber who creates classic Mukbang videos, has more than 400K subscribers!
  2. The top Mukbang broadcasters are earning more than $10,000 per month.
  3. Mukbang video content views grew from 87 million in October 2017 to a staggering 138 million by the end of April 2018.
  4. Among all Mukbang video-makers, around 15% of YouTubers prefer eating traditional Korean junk food items.
  5. If you want to watch some crazy eating videos, ErikTheElectric is a must watch!

Mukbang: The Origin

Mukbangs became popular in 2010, but were popularized in America in 2015, when a popular YouTube channel, Fine Brother Entertainment, released a video. Following the release of this video, several other YouTubers, like Stephanie Soo, Veronica Wong, and Nikocado Avocado followed suit and became popular Mukbang broadcasters with over 10 million views.

Korean fried chicken is a popular Mukbang item

Why Is Mukbang So Gratifying?

Slurping, chewing, chomping, munching, and binging—it seems strange and confusing why someone would want to watch another person scarf down platefuls of food.

Well, it's food porn. Just as some people like watching shopping hauls or unboxing videos, others like to watch food haul videos.

The Noise

The most prominent aspect of Mukbang videos is the sounds. YouTubers purposely use exaggerated sounds to enhance the appeal of their videos. You'll also notice that the food items being eaten are fulfilling and indulgent, such as a honeycomb or Korean fried chicken. 

These videos also incorporate ASMR—a sensation you feel when watching and listening to people as they bite, chew, gulp, and swallow. ASMR stands for the autonomous sensory meridian response, and it can feel very gratifying.

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