facebookBTS Meal Singapore Launch: Why Are People Paying 9X More for the Meal's Packaging?



160621 BTS Meal Singapore

BTS Meal Singapore Launch: Why Are People Paying 9X More for the Meal's Packaging?

profileJoel Koh

For most of us in Singapore, next Monday, 21 June 2021 is a special day as we might finally be able to dine in at Food and Beverage (F&B) establishments again.

But for Singaporean members of the BTS ARMY and stans of K-pop supergroup BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan), this day is especially significant as the highly anticipated BTS Meal from fast-food chain McDonald’s will be released in Singapore.

FYI: Fans of the Korean supergroup call themselves the ARMY or A.R.M.Y which stands for “Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth”. According to the Oxford dictionary, a Stan is someone who is an overzealous or obsessive fan of a particular celebrity.

The wait must have been agonising as the meal was originally scheduled for launch on 27 May 2021. But, the launch had to be postponed in view of the implementation of Phase 2 (‘Heightened Alert’) measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Source: McDonald’s | YouTube

Whether you are a die-hard fan of BTS or just someone like me who is curious to know what all the fuss is all about.

Here is all you need to know!

TL;DR: BTS Meal Singapore Launch

  • The BTS Meal will launch in Singapore on 21 June 2021, 11am.
  • The BTS Meal will retail for S$8.90 and will come with nine-piece nuggets, a large coke, large fries and Sweet Chili and Cajun dipping sauces.
  • But BTS meals will only be sold via online food delivery, with Grab offering its riders extra monetary incentives to deliver McDonald’s orders on the 21 and 22 June 2021.
  • People are also willing to pay up to S$46.50 on eBay for the BTS meal packaging due to the branding and how it is valued as an official BTS collectable.

What is The BTS Meal?

The BTS Meal is the result of a collaboration between BTS and McDonald’s to create a one of a kind BTS menu that is a representation of BTS’s signature order at McDonald’s.

Source: McDonald’s | Instagram

McDonald’s is even bringing this ‘one-of-a-kind menu’ on a world tour which officially kicks off on 26 May 2021 in the U.S. and will go all around the world.

Customers can enjoy the BTS Meal at their respective country’s participating McDonald’s restaurants nationwide.

Source: McDonald’s | Instagram

This themed meal includes:

  • 9-piece Chicken McNuggets
  • 1X Large Fries
  • 1X Large Coke
  • And Sweet Chili and Cajun dipping sauces inspired by popular recipes from McDonald’s South Korea.
    • The Sweet Chili sauce is a little sweet and sour, with a little touch of heat.
    • The Cajun sauce is made with a combination of hot mustard, chilli, and peppers.
Source: Author | The Office

From a casual observer’s point of view, there is little to no difference between a BTS meal and a regular McNuggets meal aside from the themed packaging and special sauces.

If you agree the BTS meal is clearly not targeted at you.

When Will The BTS Meal Launch in Singapore: McDonald’s BTS Meal Launch Date Singapore

Fans of BTS can enjoy the BTS meal in Singapore from 21 June 2021, from 11am onwards.

Source: McDonald’s Singapore | Facebook

| Facebook

But, do note that you can only buy the BTS meal online via food delivery services like McDelivery, Grab and FoodPanda.

Also, the BTS meal will NOT be available via in-store and Drive-thru so please do not go down to avoid disappointment.

However, there is no mention of when the campaign will end. So if you want to buy a BTS meal, you should get it while you can.

Source: Mothership | Screenshot was taken and posted on a GrabFood Delivery Rider group on Tuesday (15 June 2021)

It appears Grab is also preparing for the increased demand for these meals.

Grab is offering its riders an incentive for delivering McDonald’s orders from 21 June 2021, 11am to 22 June 2021.

Each rider will earn an additional S$3 for every two McDonald’s jobs completed on GrabFood or GrabExpress.

I expect the demand in Singapore to be insane judging from what we saw with the BTS meal launches in Malaysia and Indonesia.

According to a report from the Malay Mail on 26 May 2021, many people in Malaysia endured long queues in person to buy the BTS meal in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. The McDonald’s delivery app and online delivery service also crashed.

But on balance, the Malay Mail also reported that the Malaysian ARMYs (BTS fans) donated 274 sets of BTS meals to the front liners fighting COVID-19 in Malaysia.

In Indonesia, the New York Times reported that many McDonald’s outlets were forced to close due to the crazy demand for the BTS meal that resulted in many delivery riders crowding McDonald’s restaurants there and violating COVID-19 measures.

I foresee that the demand for McDonald’s meals next week to be rather insane so it should be quite difficult to get your McDonald’s fix via delivery next week.

BTS Meals Price Singapore

The official price for a BTS meal is just S$8.90, which is even cheaper than your regular McNuggets nine-piece meal on GrabFood that goes for S$9.40.

Source: Grab

But of course, with this kind of high demand celebrity collaboration good, there will be scalpers who are reselling the packaging for these BTS meals on eBay.

Although the higher-priced listings have no bids, we are seeing some sales for the lower-priced listings.

Source: jin-6936 | eBay

For example, we have this seller from eBay who seems to have sold 38 sets of BTS meal packaging — all UV sterilized and shipping from South Korea — for US$35 (~S$46.50), to several eBay users.

I am expecting that people will be doing this in Singapore on platforms like Carousell when the BTS meal launches in Singapore next week.

Why BTS Meal so Popular and Why Are People Willing To Pay More for the Packaging?

It’s all about the mega appeal of BTS and branding done by McDonald’s.

We are all aware of how fiercely devoted BTS fans are and how popular the band is worldwide.

Here is an example. of their popularity.

In just 24 hours, K-Pop group BTS’s first English single Dynamite was viewed 101.1 million times on YouTube on 3 September 2020, breaking three Guinness World Records.

The group also made history, as Dynamite is the first Korean song that reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Source: Guinness World Records | Twitter

It’s little wonder that BTS fans will want to collect anything official that is released by the band.

In a sense, the BTS meal can be considered an official historical item by fans which may explain why the packaging is being scalped as a collectable online.

McDonald’s Branding

This is an old trick from McDonald’s marketing playbook as well.

This BTS collaboration is just another instalment of McDonald’s celebrity partnership efforts. The fast-food chain has long been partnering celebrities like Kim and Kanye, Millie Bobby Brown, Whoopi Goldberg, Travis Scott and Micheal Jordan to sell their products.

Source: Gapers Block | Ad for a Micheal Jordan themed meal released by McDonald’s in 1992

This popular and effective strategy can humanise the corporation by engaging these charming celebrities to front the brand.

The best part?

Some of us might willingly fall for this despite campaigns like this being pushed to us by huge money-spinning conglomerates who only care about profit and nothing much else.

I may be a little cynical but unfortunately, the whole BTS meal is just one huge marketing campaign by McDonald’s to sell McNuggets.

But on balance, it does not mean that you are a bit naive to fall for this.

After all, value is attached to objects that people desire and there is value in spades with a brand like BTS.

To put this into context, we are living in an era where a non-fungible token (NFT) made by artist Beeple sold for S$93 million.

So paying just a bit more for a BTS meal is not at all crazy considering it can be a fun way to support something you enjoy.

But from time to time, I would urge you to reflect on the things you idolise and place great value in to see if you are taking things too far and neglecting other areas of your life.

Otherwise, I see no harm in getting a BTS Meal and might even order one to see what all the fuss is about.

About Joel Koh
History student turned writer at Seedly. Before you ask, not a teacher. I hope to help people make better financial decisions and not let money control them.
You can contribute your thoughts like Joel Koh here.

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