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A snackpack is an assortment of packaged candies and chips that are taped together like a wearable backpack complete with straps, and sometimes, pouches filled with even more snacks. In June 2014, the backpack made out of snacks became a viral prank gift trend among South Korean students on Facebook.
The earliest known iteration of a “snackpack,” as worn by a college student for the sake of comedy (shown below, left & center), was submitted to Nate’s funny photo-video channel on July 8th, 2011, followed by a more elaborate version by a high school student (shown below, right) uploaded to TodayHumor on November 15th, 2011.
The first prototype of a “snackpack” was shared on a Naver blog by Korean mom blogger IdlePanda on June 7th, 2008. In the post, she described that her husband taped two bags of chips on their three-year-old boy as a prank. In July 2010, another photograph of a toddler wearing a “snackpack” surfaced on a Naver blog, though it never caught on as a widespread trend among parents on the Internet.
On June 18th, 2014, Korean Facebook community What Should I Eat Today featured a set of photographs showcasing “snackpacks,” or backpacks made out of sncks, submitted by two high school students Ji Hyun Lee and Back Seo Yeon. In a week, the post gained more than 99,000 likes and 3,200 shares.
On the next day, collections of “snackpack” images were featured on Korean imageboards and D.I.Y craft blogs, including Wikitree, Naver and Leftclick. In the following week, the “snackpack” idea continued to spread across Facebook and became the latest novelty birthday gift for friends and classmates, especially among high school girls, leading to a slew of photographs of imitations and one-up challenges on Facebook, Instagram and other social networking sites in Korea.
News Media Coverage
On June 23rd, Kotaku reported on the phenomenon of snackpack gifting among Korean high school students, which is notable for providing the first major blog coverage of the trend, followed by the food trend blog Foodbeast in an article titled “Latest Korean Meme Has Schoolgirls Carrying Giant Backpacks Made of Junk Food.” On June 24th, Korean news site JoongAng Daily picked up on the trend in a post about K-pop celebrity Minah’s snackpack photo on Instagram.
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