Alongside making big money in her own career, BLACKPINK‘s Lisa is also driving up profits for meatball businesses in Thailand—here’s why.
BLACKPINK‘s Lisa was born and raised in the Thailand province of Buriram, the name of which means “city of happiness.” Sadly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she hasn’t been able to return home in almost two years. However, that doesn’t mean she’s not making an impact on her beloved hometown.
Last week, Lisa appeared on Thai talk show Woody Show to talk about her hit solo debut with title track “LALISA,” and naturally, the host wanted to talk to her about her home country—including finding out which Thai food Lisa is craving. “I heard from someone that you miss eating yuen kin meatballs,” Woody told her.
At the mention of her favorite food, Lisa couldn’t stop gushing: “They’re really popular. People buy and eat them right away at Buriram train station.” Buriram railway station is known for its street vendors, almost a dozen of which specialize in these delicious meatballs. Lisa went on to say that you can’t find anything like them in South Korea because of the special local sauce.
The highlight is the sauce only found in Buriram. That place is so good. You can’t find it anywhere else.
While the meatballs were just a passing mention for Lisa, her immense popularity had viewers hanging on to her every word—and now, everyone is flocking to Buriram to sample her favorite dish! In a new interview with vendors in the area, Bangkok Post reveals Lisa’s words have had a huge impact on meatball sales over the past few days.
Two sellers, Arunsri Kamnerdklang and Ratchanok Maneewan, revealed to Bangkok Post that before Lisa’s Woody Show appearance, they were only selling a few hundred baht’s worth of meatballs each day. For reference, ฿100 THB is $3 USD. According to the president of the Tourism Industry Council, although standing around the stalls eating meatballs is one of Buriram’s traditions, the local industry has been struggling since the COVID-19 pandemic made customers afraid of eating out.
Now, thanks to Lisa, they’re inundated with in-person and online orders from other provinces. Regular customer Thanomwan Sinthurat says friends and acquaintances across Thailand, from Bangkok to Chaiyaphum, have been asking her to send them the meatballs.
Thanking Lisa for breathing life into the meatball business, the Tourism Industry Council president revealed some shops have now risen to 2,000 orders a day. On top of that, sales for each vendor are now up to over ฿10,000 THB (around $300 USD) daily.
This is unprecedented and business is even better than pre-COVID-19.
— Bordin Ruengsuksriwong, Tourism Industry Council president
Ms. Arunsri and Ms. Ratchanok went on to explain that since Lisa’s interview, all meatball vendors in the area have begun offering Lisa’s favorite Thai chili paste dipping sauce too. Thanks to their burgeoning businesses, they’ve even promised to serve Lisa free meatballs and sauce when she finally gets to return home to Buriram.
After learning how much sales have boomed, Lisa told Thai fans on Weverse to eat plenty of meatballs on her behalf.
Lisa, the meatballs at the stalls (in Buriram) are selling so well😍🙏🏻
Lisa: eat a lot/well for me! pic.twitter.com/wIA7wPGVi2
— 🌻 (@lsmygem) September 16, 2021
Now that’s impact!