With the recent grand opening of SM Entertainment‘s “SMTOWN Land” at the Seoul COEX mall where goods and merchandise are sold, desserts with the names of SM Entertainment’s artists branded onto them have been gaining mixed reactions from numerous fans for the costly prices.
On December 21st, a trending topic regarding ice cream and desserts sold at “SMTOWN Land” was posted on a popular Korean online community where it was then further spread through a variety of other sites and SNS platforms, gaining the attention of many fans and netizens.
The topic introduced several photos of sweet confections such as ice cream bars, cupcakes, and mini cakes with SM Entertainment artists’ names branded onto it as decoration. As the photos of the desserts began circulating the web, many fans and netizens noticed the prices written on the menu display.
The most popular item known at the “SMTOWN Land” dessert section is the ice cream bar branded with artists’ names, which can also be seen in several of the SM Entertainment artists’ Instagram posts, being sold at 6,000 Korean won (roughly $5.50 USD). Next are the mini cakes decorated with chocolate buttons with artists’ names on them selling at 18,000 Korean won ($16.50 USD) and cupcakes with tiny snapback hat decorations with the official logos of artists such as Girls’ Generation, Red Velvet, EXO, and f(x) being sold at 8,000 won ($7.30 USD).
Many netizens online and even fans who have visited the pop-up store have expressed their mixed thoughts regarding the prices, leaving comments such as, “Wow, are these the famous desserts we’ve all been hearing about lately? They look so good,” “They look really cute and pretty, but not worth the prices I’m seeing on the menu,” “I’m speechless at the prices and how yummy they look,” and “These actually tasted pretty good! But I have to be honest that they were a bit expensive…”
Some fans even began comparing the prices to other well-known dessert brands, saying that even the better quality and most expensive ice cream bars bought at the local stores only cost about 3,000 to 4,000 won (approximately $2.75 to $3.50 USD), voicing out how it is a bit unfair to charge so much on mediocre ice cream just because it has a small print of groups’ names.
Many discussions and comments have been fueled after Girls’ Generation’s Sunny posted a selca of herself and fellow member Tiffany snacking on SHINee and Super Junior ice cream bars with the following caption and hashtags, “Tastes good~♡ #smtowncoexatrium #mypartner @xolovestephi”
Netizens on one end of the spectrum have been leaving optimistic and encouraging comments such as, “It seems like they’re just trying out a new way of communicating with fans [with these desserts], but people are getting too caught up with the prices. If you think it’s worth paying to eat, then you go ahead and do that. If you think otherwise, then just don’t pay to eat it. It’s as simple as that. I find it kind of dumb how people are getting angry at them for this,” while fans and netizens at the other end of the spectrum are leaving angry comments such as, “It seems like they’re just plastering names on these desserts just to aim them at young and naive fans who lack judgement so that they can make excessive profits off of them. It’s ridiculously unfathomable how you can buy two whole roasted chickens [meals] for the same prices as one of these ice cream bars or desserts in this day and age,” as well as, “For these prices, they should be served on first-class or business flights.”
In regards to this recent topic, an SM Entertainment official stated that they would ask the chief or director in charge about this issue and get back to the public with a statement.