Market Watch

Seoul’s Cafe Cha Introduces Safe and Fun Squid Game Challenge

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – Like a scene out of the hit Netflix series Squid Game, Cafe Cha visitors get 10 minutes to carve a shape out of a piece of dalgona (traditional Korean sugar) candy. Except, unlike in the hit thriller, this version is 100% safe and fun. 

The first Korean series to hit number one in the US, Netflix’s Squid Game is a K-drama about a group of individuals seeking to escape their destitute economically-challenged backgrounds. In the series, 456 players choose to engage in six deadly traditional Korean childhood games hoping to win millions. 

– “Cafe Cha mixes the old with the new, creating in the process of something that is at once uniquely South Korean but also captures a universal familiarity, transforming it into something hip and trendy.”
– Kenny, Hong Kyoung-Soo

“In the TV series Squid Game, the director mixed old Korean childhood games with modern concepts by creating a psychological thriller which also offers social commentary on modern society,” explains Cafe Cha’s founder Kenny Hong Kyoung-soo. ”In a similar way, Cafe Cha also mixes the old with the new, creating something uniquely South Korean that is appealing to the rest of the globe. Our goal is to modernise traditional Korean desserts.”

And now, Cafe Cha is bringing this traditional Korean childhood candy game to life with its own custom version. Having grown rapidly into four cafes across Seoul thanks to recent popularity of its dalgona-focused specialty drinks, Cafe Cha’s in store challenge asks players to break out a triangle, a circle, a star, or Cafe Cha logo from the dalgona. They must carve out the symbol without cracking the whole piece before the time limit is up. Depending on the symbol, players can win Café Cha gift vouchers of up to US $300.

“Throughout my life, my favorite snack has always been dalgona. I played the dalgona game a lot. These are childhood memories that I can never forget,” adds Hong. “The dalgona street vendors from my youth had long since disappeared, and it’s become a rare sight to see one in modern South Korea.”

Cafe Cha’s version of Squid Game transforms your coffee break into an exciting competition. Break the dalgona cut-out placed on this game’s surface in 10 minutes or less, and you’re the winner! The dalgona-based brand is the first Korean cafe to focus on transforming traditional Korean street snacks into hit instagrammable desserts that have gone viral across the world.

About Cafe Cha:

Cafe Cha is redefining cafe culture by elevating dalgona, an underappreciated street-sold honeycomb toffee candy that was made popular in Korea following the war, into the height of trendy luxury that everyone wants to try. Since its opening in September of 2019, it has welcomed daily crowds with its innovative offerings of dalgona milk tea, dalgona coffee, and dalgona scones, and has since seen an expansion into four more locations. This innovation caught the attention of international media such as CNN, South China Morning Post and more, as the brand responsible for dalgona’s journey to global fame and its contribution to the “Dalgona Coffee Challenge.” The cafe hopes to bring Korean culture to the rest of the world through products such as their Canned Dalogna. 

The first modern dalgona cafe in Korea and Japan, Cafe Cha plans to continue innovating its menu with familiar Korean flavors, bringing the best of their culture to dessert aficionados around the world.

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Key Locations:

– Seoul Seongsu a : 2, Seoulsup 6-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea
– Seoul Soosuk a : 16-13, Gangbyeonbuk-ro 632beon-gil, Namyangju-si, Gyeonggi-do
– Tokyo Shibuya a : 2-1-11 2F, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku Tokyo Japan 150-0002