The Korea Herald


Pulmuone aims to challenge Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods in plant-based food

By Jo He-rim

Published : March 24, 2021 - 16:22

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Pulmuone’s plant-forward food products in South Korea (Pulmuone) Pulmuone’s plant-forward food products in South Korea (Pulmuone)

Amid the growing popularity of plant-based proteins as healthy and eco-friendly alternatives to meat, Pulmuone aims to become a leader in the plant-based food industry, the company said Wednesday.

The South Korean food company’s Plant Protein Meal Bureau will release new products domestically and globally, in countries including the US, China and Japan, it added.

Pulmuone, which revealed a three-year plan for the plant-based food push, chose six categories to focus on: plant-based protein food, plant-based low-carbohydrate food, plant-based meat, plant-based beverages and drinkable food, plant-based yogurt and plant-based convenience food.

In Korea this year, Pulmuone said it will launch 20 new products in three categories, of which eight items have been already completely developed.

Pulmuone’s business strategy for plant-forward foods signifies its healthy and eco-friendly commitment to “LOHAS” (lifestyles of health and sustainability) values through minimizing the use of meat and offering plant-based foods and diets, the company explained.

For markets outside of Korea, Pulmuone said it will localize its plant-forward foods tailored to the respective markets. 

Products of Plantspired, a plant-forward food brand of Pulmuone Foods USA (Pulmuone) Products of Plantspired, a plant-forward food brand of Pulmuone Foods USA (Pulmuone)

To differentiate and gain a competitive edge among global plant-based meat manufacturing companies such as Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, Pulmuone said it will launch new products in various categories encompassing plant-based protein and plant-based meat, along with other Korean traditional dishes.

The food company will also finish the development of ingredients with textures similar to meat and continue to release innovative and sophisticated new products in the market to outpace competitors, Pulmuone said.

“The number of consumers seeking healthy and nutritious plant-based protein diets has been skyrocketing since the COVID-19 outbreak, and the eco-friendly trend and the trend of conscious consumption of foods is here to stay,” said Pulmuone Chief Technology Officer Lee Sang-yun.

The CFO said Pulmuone, which is the world’s largest tofu maker, will “leverage its 40-year-old tofu manufacturing technologies and soybean-protein research and development capabilities to compete with global companies in the plant-forward food category.”

Pulmuone operates several overseas subsidiaries, including Pulmuone Foods USA that has over 75 percent of market share in the US tofu market. The US company recently launched the new plant-forward food brand Plantinspired.

In Japan and China, where subsidiaries Asahico and Pumeiduo Foods are operated, respectively, the food company will also introduce more plant-based protein products, Pulmuone said.

By Jo He-rim (