Jeff and Jordan Kim of Fountain Valley are a father-son duo known online as The CrunchBros. With more than 300,000 followers on YouTube and 3 million followers on TikTok, they take on food challenges and present mukbangs—videos of themselves eating. Jeff, aka CrunchDad, is a full-time social media influencer, while sidekick Jordan balances the gig with his first-grade responsibilities.
The CrunchBros built a following through their mukbangs, which are essentially videos of people eating large amounts of food. The Korean trend quickly expanded around the world in the early 2010s, and the pair hopped onto the bandwagon during the pandemic. Launched in 2020, their YouTube channel started as a small project to stay connected with friends and family and keep them updated on Jordan’s food adventures. Soon enough, millions of people from around the world became hooked on Jeff and Jordan’s entertaining antics and reactions to trying new dishes.
As their social media channels took off, Jeff and his wife—who chooses to stay anonymous, known to the public only as CrunchMom—began working as full-time influencers. Every video is a family affair. Even Jordan’s 3-year-old sister, Kaiya (CrunchBaby), makes a cameo or two. “It’s cool that everyone gets to be a part of our videos in some way,” Jeff says. “CrunchMom and I love it because we get to deal with the kids all the time.”
The family’s most popular videos are their mochi roulette challenges, where they try mochi filled with surprise ingredients, and their mouthwatering food feasts, which feature dishes from around the world. Jeff says it was important to the family to incorporate different cultures into their channel. “I’m Korean and my wife is Japanese, and we’ve both been raised very culture-minded,” he says. “So we wanted to bring our cultures together for Jordan and his younger sister.”
Other videos on the channel range from viral TikTok trends to taste tests of popular drive-through meals. One features a “Fire Noodle Challenge,” where Jeff eats spicy black bean noodles (jjajangmyeon). In the video, Jordan whispers to his dad, “It looks like you’re crying,” as Jeff begins to sweat intensely. In another, Jordan explains that “Sriracha comes from chicken” because there’s a picture of a rooster on the bottle.
Jordan says his favorite part about creating the videos is that he gets to eat. “It’s really fun! I like to eat the stuff we try. I like food, just like my parents.” Jeff adds, “We always get excited for him to try new things. I think he senses that and catches on to our energy.”
Shortly after the channel’s launch, the family began receiving heartwarming messages from viewers explaining how their videos helped them during difficult times in the pandemic. Several people said they and their kids had become more willing to try new food through Jordan’s example. “We’ve even gotten messages from parents who said that their kids have started eating their vegetables because they see Jordan doing it.”
Jeff hopes the videos inspire people to be adventurous in all aspects of life. “I would tell our viewers to go out there, explore life, and try everything once,” he says. “If you don’t like certain foods or experiences afterward, that’s fine; but at least you took the chance!”