Hong Kong’s underground cookie trade
HONG KONG (CNN) — There’s a booming black market in Hong Kong, but it’s not for fake Apple Watches, or the iPhone.
Instead, people are going crazy for tins of butter cookies.
Tourists and locals line up around the block for several hours just to get their hands on Jenny’s cookies — at $9 a tin.
Its popularity has spurred bakeries to make and sell knockoffs, and the original store has signs warning against buying ‘fake’ Jenny’s cookies.
The tiny shop, located in Tsim Sha Tsui, one of the city’s main shopping districts, is swarming with people handing over wads of cash for the “little bear cookies” as they are known across Asia.
People are even hired to stand in line to buy the goods and are later resold at a 70% mark-up yards away, something the bakery also tries to discourage.
A few meters away from the long cookie line, old ladies hold up paper signs advertising the cookies for sale. But when they see cameras approaching, they scurry away, only to reappear on another street corner.
The frenzy in Hong Kong over the buttery treats is by no means an isolated example.
In other parts of the world, food mania has erupted, swiftly winning people’s hearts and stomachs, only to fizzle out in a few months.