nstant noodles going for 1,999 yuan (US$276) online would be hard to swallow for most. But ever since the Nissin-brand “giant cup noodles bucket” sold out at membership warehouse chain Sam’s Club’s new outlet in Guangdong Province, its price has skyrocketed on resale sites.
Customers lined up for hours for the limited-edition bucket, released to mark the opening of the Walmart-owned company’s Shenzhen location on June 29. Measuring 45 centimeters tall, the bucket contains 24 regular cup noodles of different flavors and originally sold for 168 yuan (US$23).
Disappearing from shelves in 15 minutes, the bucket quickly popped up on used marketplace app Xianyu, listed from 500 yuan (US$70) up to 1,999 yuan (US$280). Experts argued that while novelty and FOMO (fear of missing out) played a role in hyping the sale, its popularity also showed that younger consumers are willing to pay more for a product’s symbolic value.
The bucket’s exclusivity also holds social media clout that makes young consumers feel they are trendier, more interesting and wealthier than others.