SPAIN has its own Oscar winner.
Surprise package Parasite has brought an unexpected bonus to a Spanish crisp manufacturer.
Such has been the impact of the movie – which became the first foreign language film to scoop the Best Picture Award – that the Bonilla a la vista brand snacks have seen a surge in orders after a tin of its crisps were featured in a scene.
The potato snacks made a cameo appearance as part of the scene where the infiltrating Kim family eat snacks and drink whisky in the living room of their wealthy employers, the Parks.
It may have been a small part, but it has had a big effect on the fortunes of the Galician family firm.
The company has seen its online sales soar by 150% in just two weeks after the brand was first spotted in the film then taken up by a multitude of social network users.
Many of them are recognised as ‘influencers’ in Spain as well as South Korea, where the film was made and is set.
They would appear to have turned Bonilla’s tasty snacks into a full-blown craze.
Bonilla, based in the town of Arteixo, already exports 40 tonnes of its crisps to the Asian country each year.
This makes it by far its biggest market outside Spain, although it does export to 20 nations.
The company has been making crisps and churros for almost a century and it remains a family firm with 100 employees.
Bonilla first realised something was going on last month when it noticed that pictures of its distinctive blue and white tins were appearing more and more on social media.
A company spokeswoman said that it was just by chance that its crisps were used in the Bong Joon-ho-directed comedy thriller.
She added that the company only found out they were in Parasites when customers and friends told them.
The company is headed by Cesar Bonilla, who is 87 years old. He started in the business frying potatoes and making deliveries for the firm, which was started in 1932 by his father Salvador, who sold crisps and churros at fairs.
From those small beginnings, Bonillas has grown into a firm that produces about 540 tonnes of crisps each year.
Sixty tonnes are exported, with two thirds going to South Korea.
A 500 gram tin costs around €13 in Spain and €23 in South Korea, with the company quickly deciding to take advantage of its Oscar boost by launching a smaller tin for the Asian market.
Cesar says that the secret to their success has always been an insistence on using top quality potatoes, good olive oil and sea salt, which gives the crisps a great taste and texture.