Review: Calbee Honey Butter Chips (The Chip That Is Causing Hysteria in Korea, Apparently)

JFG Nation, HAPPY NATIONAL JUNK FOOD DAY! Apparently. On this date, I know everyone in the US is buzzing about the new Lays Do Us A Flavor potato chips….No? Well, SOME of us are. Probably because of their more palatable flavors (Gyro. Biscuits and Gravy. Reuben Sandwich. Truffle Fries.) I’ve actually heard only so-so buzz on this year’s contest.

What I DID learn is that in Korea there is a chips which is making people go BONKERS. Like, causing a country-wide craze. Seriously. Read this article. And it’s these: Calbee Honey Butter Chips, today’s junk food!

Calbee Honey Butter Chips: The Money Shot

Calbee Honey Butter Chips: The Money Shot

Honey and butter. Do they mix? Well, my answer is YES – I’ve eaten at plenty of restaurants with cornbread or hot southern biscuits, and lemme tell ya – a nice ramekin of honey butter is LEGIT tasty. Ever eat at Outback? That loaf of honey pumpernickel-wheat bread they set down in front of you with that ramekin of honey butter? I could eat twelve of those loaves.



So anyways, yeah – these Honey Butter chips are ALL THE RAGE in Korea. Basically, after these chips came out in August of 2014, Korean pop stars started posting pics of themselves with the bags.

Hot chicks with chips – yep, that’s one way to get the fad going. And then, apparently: “Soon, the Honey Butter Chips became as rare and prized as Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket. Convenience stores were consistently sold out of the item. Disgruntled employees became so annoyed by beleaguering inquiries about the next shipment they posted signs on their door notifying that they were out of stock.”

According to the news, sales of these chips between August and November of 2014 totaled $9.3 million dollars. 9.3!!!! What the. On Ebay, a two-pack recently sold for over $100. WHAT IS THE DEAL. Are these chips really that great?

Lucky for me, Actor Sis got her hands on these from a friend who had recently visited Korea. He paid like $4 for them. And now, I have them. Let’s crack into these.


Opening this bag of Calbee Honey Butter Chips, the inside of the bag smelled SWEET. Like a sweet buttery pastry. The aroma was frankly intoxicating. It was like I was smelling a cheese danish. Holy hell. These were gonna be dangerous.

I placed three chips into my mouth and crunched, and immediately knew why people liked these. They were delicious. They were the perfect sweet and salty potato chip. Some of these descriptions are gonna sound weird, but bear with me.

These chips sort of tasted like super buttery cookies – the immediate first flavor was a sweet sweet butter flavor, like the taste you get when you bite into a fresh croissant. But sweeter – it bordered on a Mexican pan dulce flavor. Like, if you got a super buttery croissant and someone sprinkled a tiny bit of sugar on top, THAT’S what the butter flavor here tasted like.

But then you add in the slightly salty potato chip flavor, and the juxtaposition is amazing. Salty sweet, these chips have a truly delicious taste. Like eating a baked potato with sweet honey butter, or eating perfectly whipped mashed potatoes with honey butter. The flavor was straightforward, but bold in its clarity. SUPER buttery, sweet, and salty. Creamy, even. Amazingly delicious. The potato chips themselves were standard, but the flavor was shockingly good.

Ok, Korea, I get it. The chips are delightful. I want more bags now too. STOP OUTBIDDING ME ON EBAY.

PURCHASED AT: Sent to me by Actor Sis

COST: apparently, like $4 in Korea

Thoughts? Please comment below or hit me up on Twitter @junkfoodguy or LIKE my Facebook Page and message me there. I also have Google+!! Let’s hang out.


Junk Food Guy

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Discuss - 26 Comments

  1. Jessica says:

    I suggested honey nut for this year’s Do-us-a-Flavor. Maybe we need to flood it with honey butter next year?

  2. Kaitlyn says:

    oookay.. so now i want these, but i will never be able to try them. thanks! -__- haha

  3. Kahnfucius says:

    But how do they pair with Bon Chon wings?

  4. T says:

    Not sure how well these would do in the U.S…it seems like I’m the only one who LOVES the honey butter Pringles stix!

  5. Adam says:

    Dude when are these coming to H-Mart?

    • junkfoodguy says:

      @Adam: Let’s hope soon. Apparently there are a lot of competitor brands too – one of them HAS to make it here, right? To Maryland?

  6. Dave says:

    I’m glad you had an opportunity to review these chips. I also tried these not too long ago and frankly these were just so-so for me. Maybe it was the high expectation I had for these chips since they were unavailable in stores in Korea for the longest time. Stores were actually rationing chips to customers; 2 bags for each customer. To me, these chips tasted mostly like butter (not that butter is a bad thing) and had some saltiness and a hint of honey at the end. Haitai-Calbee purposely limited the production of these chips so it will create more of a buzz for the consumers. These weren’t bad but definitely not something that I would wait in line for over an hour. That being said, I still have 10 bags of these chips left and debating if I should finish it or put it on ebay.

    • junkfoodguy says:

      @Dave: Good point – I wasn’t trying to say these were my fav chip of all time. I’d still eat Doritos over these. I just meant I could see why people liked them – pretty tasty to me 🙂

      As for your other bags, I know a food blogger who would want them 😉

  7. Tenko says:

    I like Calbee’s shrimp & lentil chips. These sound great – I love honey and butter on biscuits, among other things – but I don’t think I’ll have a chance to try them any time soon. I also didn’t know what Calbee’s was until I saw Tiger & Bunny. It was just a company without a face to me.

  8. Allison says:

    I had no idea these were so poopular! About a month or so ago, I had a few items I wanted to grab at a small (albeit PACKED with TONS of food!) Japanese-Korean grocery store. I’m not Japanese or Korean (I’m whiter than a ghost caught in a snowstorm), but Japanese and Korean are my favorite ethnic foods, and when I saw a bag of chips that pictured honey and butter on the back of the bag, I buckled. I didn’t really know that they were popular, but oh, Heavens, they were delightful. Didn’t find out until now that there’s a craze for them in Korea, but I understand why!

    Thanks for this interesting info.

  9. Juls says:

    I stopped by in a Korean minimart to get some Gochujang (here in a small city in central Philippines) and on a lark got a bag of the Calbee Honey Butter chips. I opened the bag while driving home and after a few pieces, I decided to go back to get some more. It was that good on the first try. The flavor was so unconventional that one bag was simply not enough. So I went back and bought the remaining 3 on the shelf. The Korean owner was surprised and said that these were very popular in Korea. I thought he was just doing a sales pitch… until I read this and other blogs. Holy hell!

  10. tsitsirya says:

    This looks really yummy! Hope I’ll find one soon. I recently tried Calbee Wasabi Chips. Try it too. 😀

  11. Lorie says:

    Hi! Omg where’s that korean mart? I’m craving for some honey butter chips right now ? Thanks! ?

  12. Inferno says:

    I’m actually Korean (but living in the US) but surprisingly, I haven’t heard of these until playing Mystic Messenger (707 likes these). I have a Korean store nearby and I’ve been thinking about trying these ever since I found that they were in the store so I looked at some reviews. I’m fully convinced that I want these now and I’ll probably get some tomorrow lmao

  13. Bob says:

    They especially go well with Doctor Pepper :p

  14. Crystal says:

    Who came here in search of the chips and the sake for 707 of mystic messenger-
    I came here bc im hungry for it and bc of 707 qvq

  15. Sarah says:

    Ok so I personally don’t like honey butter chips, tbh they were a big disappointment! Mystic Messenger made these chips seem as perfect as Doritos, but they weren’t! However I gave one to my dad and he seemed to like them, what concerns me is on the back of the package there was a warning stating: This product contains chemical known in California to cause cancer and other reproductive harm: cancer is unfortunately extremely common in my family and this scares me a lot! I tried googling it but nothing came up, if you know what the chemical is and how harmful it is I would appreciate if you replied to this with an answer.

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