South Korea’s UNLIMEAT announces it is to introduce new plant-based egg products for the Asian market in collaboration with US alt egg leader JUST Egg. The two companies will together create co-branded innovations based on the JUST Egg folded egg format to include UNLIMEAT’s plant-based meat and cheese products.
JUST Egg first entered the Korean market in summer 2021 as the country began to experience egg shortages, initially rolling out into leading bakery café franchises Paris Baguette and Paris Croissant. Eggs are ubiquitous in South Korean cuisine, as with Japanese, and are added to a majority of traditional Korean dishes.
Vegan kimbap & breakfast sandwich coming to Korea
One of the most popular foods in Korea which incorporates egg, is kimbap (also often anglicized as kimbab or gimbap), a seaweed roll which can be seen as the Korean equivalent of a sandwich. It’s a convenience food offered in most 7Eleven stores and usually eaten at lunchtime, most often containing ham, egg, and pickled radish, though there are several varieties.
Tapping into the popularity of this much-loved traditional dish, the first product launch to arise from the UNLIMEAT / JUST Egg collaboration item is the ‘100% Plant Protein Bomb Kimbap,’ which includes JUST Egg’s folded egg and UNLIMEAT sausage patty and cheese. The co-branded Kimbap will be available for delivery and sale in South Korea’s trendy Gangnam area starting in September.
After the Kimbap launch, the companies state plans to launch a breakfast sandwich, featuring a Korean-style Tteokgalbi (grilled short rip) patty, cheese, and JUST Egg. The vegan patty has a soybean protein base and offers an umami flavor using onions, garlic, and green onions.
Vegan innovations for the Asian palate
The news of this collaboration comes as Singapore-based researchers publish a paper urging that alt proteins will play a key role in tackling the climate crisis in Asian countries. It is vital that nutritious and appealing products reach the mainstream consumer and are accepted, and as such launches such as the kimbab are absolutely essential, as well as clever and insightful.
Zikooin Company has been pioneering the Korean alternative meat market with its plant-based Korean BBQ, pulled pork, beef jerky, Mandu dumplings, sausage, and pepperoni, under the UNLIMEAT brand, which is also present in the USA. Recently, the brand has entered the seafood category by launching a vegan tuna product, and it would be apt for this also to launch in a kimbab roll since chamchi (tuna) kimbap is likely the second most popular type after ham.
A representative from UNLIMEAT comments: “We are excited to collaborate with Just Egg, a food tech company with a mission to create a healthy, safe, and sustainable food system. As this collaboration unites brands with the same beliefs, we hope to develop a variety of products using JUST Egg’s offerings and UNLIMEAT’s plant-based substitutes. This will serve as an opportunity to expand the range of choices for consumers who enjoy vegan options.”