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Macadamia nut sales soar in South Korea after ‘nut rage’ incident

The incident in question dates back to December 5, when Cho Hyun-ah, formerly the head of cabin service for Korean Air Lines, got macadamia nuts in a bag from a flight attendant in first class. Cho apparently was enraged that the nuts weren’t served on a plate and ordered the attendant off the plane, forcing a return to the gate at JFK Internation Airport in New York City.

The incident made the South Korean public angry, with newspapers calling Cho a “princess” and even an international embarrassment. Cho has since resigned as head of cabin service and will relinquish all other executive positions as well.

On Friday, she apologized profusely to Korean media in her first public appearance in a week. Her father, Cho Yang-ho, offered an apology of his own.

“I apologize to the people of this country as chairman of Korean Air and as a father for the trouble caused by my daughter’s foolish conduct,” he said, also bowing deeply.

But while Korean Air Lines Co. comes off looking a bit bruised, there is one winner in this situation — the nut industry in South Korea. The Wall Street Journal reported (via Edaily) that Gmarket, an online market owned by Ebay, saw macadamia nut sales jump 149 percent over the same period last week. Overall, nut sales went up 36 percent.

Gmarket apparently had a little fun over the incident in a now-deleted tweet. It featured a picture of Mauna Loa brand macadamia nuts and the message “No need to use many words. Those nuts. (Actually macadamias).”

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