South Korean food company CJ Cheiljedang has expanded its plant-based dumpling range, sold under the brand name Bibigo, with two new products.
The steamed dumplings are available in the varieties Japchae (stir-fried glass noodles with plant-based beef and vegetables) and Green Chili. They have initially been launched in the UK, Australia, and Singapore.
CJ Cheiljedang already exports a range of dumplings and other plant-based products to around 30 countries worldwide, including Germany, India, and the US. However, the brand’s original dumplings are sold in pouches, whereas the new products come in a microwaveable tray for easier preparation. If the new format proves popular, it will be expanded to other export markets.
CJ Cheiljedang launched its first plant-based products — including dumplings containing a meat alternative that the company had developed in-house — in 2021. The Bibigo brand recorded $8.2 billion in sales last year, and export volume in the first three quarters of 2023 tripled compared to the same period in 2022.
Korean plant-based market soars
Just last week, CJ Cheiljedang announced a partnership with biomedical company T&R Biofab to develop 3D bioprinted meat alternatives. The hope is that the technology will improve the taste and texture of plant-based meat beyond what is currently possible. The company has also invested in several alt protein producers in recent years, including New Culture and Aqua Cultured Foods.
CJ Cheiljedang has previously said that it views plant-based foods as a “growth engine”; the Korean market for alternative proteins is soaring, amid growing concerns about sustainability and food security. This can be seen in the success of homegrown brands such as UNLIMEAT and Veggie Garden, along with rising investments in alt proteins.
“Plant-based is becoming a global megatrend. We project the global plant-based food market to grow up to 35 trillion won in the next ten years,” said Jung Hyun-hak, head of CJ CheilJedang’s plant-based food business, at a press conference.