A Korean convenience store staple, Binggrae Banana Milk is easy to spot in the fridge due to its trademark squat plastic bottle and simple green letters. The design is said to be inspired by traditional Korean ceramic jars and pots, giving a nostalgic feel.

The Banana drink was first launched in 1974, following a government campaign to get people drinking more milk. Adding the banana flavour, at a time when real bananas were scarce, made the drink a novelty – and it became popular with kids of all ages.

It hasn’t seen a drop in popularity, as these days, around 800,000 bottles are sold each day across the country. There’s also a ‘light’ version, a strawberry version and a melon version. The company, based in Namyangju, Gyeonggi province also now exports the drinks to Canada, China and the Philippines.

As you may expect, Korean celebs have often been spotted drinking or endorsing Banana Milk, including Taemin from SHINee, Lee Minho and Girls Generation.
Lee Minho’s ad

Girls’ Generation

Arirang also featured the drink on their 40th anniversary in 2014

If you’re craving some banana milk right now, here’s a recipe based on the Korean drink!


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British writer and editor living in Japan. Currently studying Japanese, Korean, K-pop dance, and the fine form of 이성종's legs.