Macadamia Nut Sales Soar In South Korea After 'Nut Rage' Incident

A Korean Air executive who forced a plane to turn around over a bag of nuts embarrassed her family and their airline, but the incident turned out to be very good for sales of macadamia nuts.

Last week a Korean Air executive forced a plane to turn around in New York so she could kick off a flight attendant who had the gall to serve some macadamia nuts in a packet instead of in a little bowl. It was embarrassing for the company, especially because the executive in question was the daughter of Korean Air's chief executive, but the incident made "macadamia" a household name in South Korea, and a lot of people have started buying macadamias to see what all the fuss was about.

According to NBC, macadamia nuts are not very common in South Korea. After the "nut rage" incident started getting attention in the media, however, South Korean websites started reporting a massive uptick in macadamia nut sales. Gmarket, the largest online retailer, said its macadamia nut sales had jumped 20 times since Sunday. Auction, South Korea's second-largest shopping site, said macadamia nut sales had jumped 12 times higher in the past five days. Before the Korean Air incident, the site said macadamia sales made up just five percent of its nut sales, but now macadamias account for half of all nuts sold on the site.