Market & Trends

South Korea Set for Vegan Cheese Explosion Following Yangyoo and Daiya Moves 

Korean food and beverage leader Yangyoo is set to reveal its new vegan cheese line, as the big data-led company looks to increase its presence in the plant-based space. Meanwhile, North American dairy-free giant Daiya Foods announces a sales and distribution partnership in South Korea, following a partnership with Hyundai Green Food. 

Seoul-based Yangyoo will exhibit its vegan cheese for the first time at CES 2022 – one of the most influential tech events in the world. Developed by Armored Fresh, its US subsidiary, the vegan cheese line is developed with plant-based protein fermentation and features six types, including camembert and burrata. 

Yangyoo Vegan Cheese Range
©Yangyoo

Daiya Foods meanwhile has shared details regarding a new partnership with Hyundai Green Food to meet the growing appetite for plant-based foods in South Korea. Under the new agreement, Hyundai Green Food will lead the sales and distribution of Daiya’s dairy-free cheese line in 15 formats, as well as Daiya’s plant-based meal products like pizza, burritos, and frozen desserts.

Alt protein in South Korea

Although the alt protein market in South Korea is still emerging, it has taken big strides of late, particularly in the biotech sphere. South Korean biotech company Advanced Protein Technologies recently secured €15 million funding from French ingredient giant Roquette, while Seoul-based CellMEAT recently announced a pre-series A funding round of $4.5 million for its cell culture medium without fetal bovine serum. 

According to research by the Korea Vegetarian Union in 2020, there are about 500,000 strict vegans living in South Korea and about 1.5 million people pursuing similar plant-based diets, and as many as 10 million flexitarians in the country.

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