Fashion, Design & Beauty

FUTUREFEAR, Founded by Ex-PUMA Designer, Debuts with the “Perfect” Vegan Puffer Jacket FUTUREPUFFER

Hyon Park, a former lead designer for PUMA Women’s, has launched a vegan streetwear brand called FUTUREFEAR in collaboration with his marketer husband, Mark Petrie. Having been initially based in Berlin, the brand has now relocated to the South Korean capital, Seoul, with the founders combining the fashion cultures of the two cities, stating the style is inspired by “the queer- and vegan-friendly Berlin and the quality-driven perfectionism of Seoul”. The FUTUREPUFFER will be available in two varieties — the waist-length SIGNATURE and the knee-length MAXI. Both feature extra-long sleeves, dropped shoulders, and a wide back panel. The jackets are created with sustainable materials, using 3M Thinsulate 100% Recycled Featherless (a down alternative made from post-consumer recycled plastic) for the filling. Recycled nylon from Korean …


better meat store & restaurant in Seoul

© Better Meat Official

Politics & Law

South Korea Becomes Second Country to Embrace National Plan for Plant-Based Foods

Just ten days after the Danish government unveiled its national action plan for plant-based foods, South Korea emerges as the second country to actively participate in transforming the food system. Yesterday, South Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs unveiled a comprehensive plan to boost the plant-based food industry and encourage the adoption of alternatives to animal proteins.  As reported by The Korea Bizwire, South Korea’s plan includes a research center for alternative proteins, measures to promote the use of domestic agricultural products in plant-based foods, and support for exporting alternative products.  In other food production initiatives, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety included official guidance for alt proteins, including cultivated meat, for the first time in its National Plan 2022. The plant-based foods plan …


CJ Cheiljedang Bibigo plant-based dumplings

© CJ Cheiljedang

Products & Launches

CJ Cheiljedang Launches New Plant-Based Dumplings in the UK, Australia & Singapore

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 …


Keum Chae Min, CEO and Founder of UNLIMEAT Inc

Keum Chae Min, CEO and founder, UNLIMEAT Inc. Image supplied


UNLIMEAT: “It’s the Perfect Time to Enhance the ‘Deliciousness’ of Alternative Meat”

UNLIMEAT, originating in South Korea and also enjoying success in the USA, is addressing a global issue that needs to be addressed more urgently by our food system, our producers, and our politicians. In the US alone, over 80 billion pounds of food is wasted each year, meaning that 30-40% of America’s annual food supply goes to waste, says founder and CEO Keum Chae Min. In response, the young entrepreneur set out initially in her home country to upcycle unused, “ugly” plants to create plant-based meat products tailored for diverse global cuisines. “We want to accelerate the transition to plant-based eating by making it convenient and delicious for consumers. That is why we’re relentlessly finding ways to expand our offerings, from Korean BBQ to Pulled …


UNLIMEAT and JUST Egg kimbap


Market & Trends

Alt Protein Revolution in South Korea: Plant-Based Thrives & Cultivated Meat Receives Huge Investment

South Korea continues at the forefront of alt food developments as interest in alternatives to animal products soars. Several factors have been credited, including growing sustainability and food security concerns As reported by Korea JoongAng Daily today, Nongshim, the largest instant noodle and snack company in South Korea, has revealed plans to invest $7.4 million in venture funds to support food tech startups developing cultivated meat and smart farms. Nongshim believes cultivated meat will be a promising alternative as the demand for sustainable foods continues to grow, according to the publication. Two Seoul-based companies, Stonebridge Ventures and IMM Investment, will manage the new capital and conduct in-depth evaluations. Meanwhile, Nongshim techUP+, Nongshim’s program for food tech startups, will continue to run with other investments. Last year, the …


CJ CheilJedang partners with T&R Biofab to develop bioprinted alt meats

© T&R Biofab

Printed Technology

Korea’s CJ CheilJedang Partners With T&R Biofab to Develop Bioprinted Alt Meats

Two Korean companies — food producer CJ CheilJedang Corp. and biomedical company T&R Biofab — have announced that they will be collaborating to develop bioprinted alt meats. Through the new partnership, the companies will investigate the potential of T&R Biofab’s advanced 3D bioprinting technology — currently used to engineer tissues for medical purposes — to produce meat alternatives with a better taste and texture than conventional plant-based meats. “We are thrilled to work with the global food giant CJ CheilJedang to redefine the future of alternative meat,” said T&R Biofab on LinkedIn. “Here at T&R, we are grateful that the technologies and solutions we tirelessly develop for the healthcare industry continue to inspire and drive progress across other industries, including the food sector, in advancing …


Biotech SeaWith and Icelandic molecular farming company ORF Genetics are partnering to accelerate SeaWith's production of cultivated meat.

© ORF Genetics

Company News

SeaWith Partners with ORF Genetics to Produce Han-Woo Cultivated Beef with Plant-Based Growth Factors

South Korean biotech SeaWith and Icelandic molecular farming company ORF Genetics are partnering to accelerate the production of cultivated meat with plant-based growth factors. SeaWith is preparing to scale its cultivated meat platform to introduce Han-Woo cultivated beef products (a breed of small cattle native to Korea) under the “Welldone” brand to the market by 2025.  The collaboration, outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), will secure SeaWith a stable supply of ORF Genetics’s animal-free growth factors to develop sustainable meat at lower costs. The MoU also highlights plans for further joint R&D initiatives of growth factors for cultivated meat production. Growth factors made from barley ORF Genetics, which produces animal-free growth factors with proteins grown in barley using molecular farming, aims to reinforce the company’s position in the rapidly …


Shinsegae Food You Are What You Eat

© Shinsegae Food

Company News

Korea’s Shinsegae Says “You Are What You Eat” With New Vegan Restaurant and Brand

South Korean food producer and catering provider Shinsegae Food has announced it is launching a new vegan restaurant and brand called You Are What You Eat. According to Pulse News, the fast-casual restaurant will open this month in the Gangnam district of the country’s capital, Seoul. It will reportedly offer options such as pasta, salads, and sandwiches, along with a range of other meals and desserts. The menu items will also be available in the form of ready meals for customers to take home. Shinsegae Food recently trialed the new concept with a food truck at the World Knowledge Forum. The truck served options made with the company’s plant-based Better Meat products, including kimchi fried rice with canned ham and pizza bread with sausages. Forum …


HN Novatech has secured funding to commercialise its flagship seaweed-extracted heme for plant-based meat

© HN Novatech

Investments & Finance

HN Novatech Secures $4 Million for Seaweed-Extracted Heme Meat Alternatives

South Korean food ingredient company HN Novatech announces it has secured $4 million in a Series-A bridge round to commercialize its flagship ingredient ACOM-S, a seaweed-extracted heme for plant-based meat applications. The round was led by VC Logan Ventures, which said it was partnering with HN Novatech to meet the global demand for clean-label meat alternatives. HN Novatech focuses on developing healthy, sustainable, and cutting-edge food ingredient alternatives and has filed 19 patents to date. It claims to be the first company in the world to extract heme-like molecules from seaweed and develop meat alternatives, such as burger patties (Korean BBQ beef), bulgogi, and sausages. Last month, in an event organized by the Singapore Tembusutech Innovation and KILSA Global, HN Novatech launched its seaweed-extracted heme for …




Retail & E-Commerce

UNLIMEAT Furthers its Presence in US Natural and Organic Stores as K-Food Continues to Trend

South Korean plant-based meat brand UNLIMEAT expands its US retail footprint with increased presence in the Natural and Organic Market, as interest in K-Pop and K-Foods continues to trend globally. The fast-growing Asian company announces today the launch of its plant-based offerings into a list of natural and organic stores such as Mollie Stone’s Markets, Berkeley Bowl, Lassens Natural Foods & Vitamins in California, and Good Earth Markets in Utah.  The products introduced by UNLIMEAT in Natural & Organic stores consist of three SKUs: plant-based Korean BBQ; pulled pork; and Mandu, a large Korean-style dumpling. UNLIMEAT states that the expansion into said natural & organic stores marks its most significant achievement since its debut last winter into Albertsons, one of the largest supermarket chains in …


Cult Foods


Investments & Finance

CULT Food Science Partners with South Korean Startup ‘Everything But’ to Bring Cell-Cultivated Chicken for Pet Food to US market

CULT Food Science Corp., an investment platform focused on cellular agriculture, announces it has signed an MoU with Korean pet foods startup Everything But to supply cell-cultivated chicken for its stable of sustainable pet food brands. CULT claims that the resulting cell-cultivated chicken products will be among the world’s first cell-cultivated chicken pet products brought to market. Founded by veterinarians and scientists, Everything But is a venture-backed pet food company based in Seoul, described as the first-ever Asian cell-based pet food company. On inspection, Yoonchan Hwang, founder of Everything But, was formerly the senior manager at Seawith, a position he stepped down from two months ago. “Our partnership with CULT transcends a mere business collaboration. Both Everything But and CULT share a profound vision for …


Simple Planet makes cultivated meat powder for f&&B applications

© Simple Planet

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

South Korea’s Simple Planet Reveals Plans to Bring Cultivated Meat Powder to North America

Simple Planet, a biotech company based in South Korea that produces cell-based food ingredients, has revealed plans to venture into the global market by establishing branches in North America in the second half of 2023.  Instead of growing pieces of meat or seafood, Simple Planet produces cultivated meat powder and cultivated unsaturated fat. Its products are designed to improve the nutritional profile of foods while enhancing their flavor. They can be used in multiple F&B applications, including senior and infant foods. This versatility will allow these ingredients to enter the market more easily than cultivated finished products. The company says that its latest progress in scaling its cell culture platform and cell organization technology has led to this overseas expansion plan. Additionally, the recent approvals to sell …


JUST Egg X Unlimeat kimbab

JUST Egg X Unlimeat

Egg Alternatives

JUST Egg & UNLIMEAT to Co-Produce Innovative Vegan Egg Products for Asian Market

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 …




Meat- and Fish Alternatives

UNLIMEAT to Further Expand its Portfolio With Plant-Based Tuna

UNLIMEAT’s CEO and founder, Keum Chae Min, confirms that the company is preparing for the launch of its new plant-based tuna products, which will be available in three different flavors. The South Korea-based company is most known for its plant-based Pulled Pork and Korean BBQ lines, which are sold in 1,500 Albertsons stores across the US and were recently promoted through an LA Food Truck Tour. In May, the company further announced a partnership with the Korean-Style corn dog shop Two Hands to launch a vegan option containing UNLIMEAT’s vegan sausage. The plant-based meat company has now announced its first step into fish alternatives with a line of plant-based tuna products, as interest in alt seafood continues to rise globally. The new range, said to …


Starbucks Korea launches alt meat range

© Starbucks Korea

Food Service

Starbucks South Korea Launches Alt Meat Dishes, Sells Over 100,000 in Two Weeks

At the beginning of the month, Starbucks Korea introduced three new menu options containing plant-based meat. Now, the chain has revealed that over 100,000 products from the range have been sold in just two weeks. The meat alternatives themselves are fully plant-based, made by Shinsegae Foods’ Better Meat. However, some of the menu options containing them also appear to include dairy or eggs, so vegans and those with allergies should exercise caution. The new dishes are: Plant-based meatball soup Plant-based meat and egg foccacia Plant-based meatball and cheese sandwich. Expanding menu choices Starbucks Korea launched its first plant-based menu in 2021 in an attempt to become more sustainable. The menu featured four items — chocolate fudge cake, potato bagels, Mexican-style rice burritos, and sweet chili …


The CellMEAT team

© CellMEAT

Investments & Acquisitions

Korea’s CellMEAT Raises $13M After Developing Cultivated Shrimp & Caviar

South Korea-based cultivated seafood company CellMEAT has raised 17.4 billion KRW ($13 million) in Series A funding. The round was led by previous investors BNK Venture Investment, Ryukyung PSG Asset Management, and Strong Ventures. Three new investors — NH Venture Investment, Genting Ventures, and Daewoodang Healthcare — also participated. It comes as CellMEAT prepares to officially open a mass production center in Seoul later this month, after developing cell culture technology that makes large-scale production economically viable. The company is notable for being one of the first worldwide to develop a serum-free cell culture medium, helping to bring down the cost of production while removing the ethical issues associated with fetal bovine serum. Prioritizing technology development CellMEAT previously raised $8.1 million in a funding round …


Shinsegae Foods / No Brand Burger introduces the Better Burger

© Shinsegae Foods

Fast Food

Shinsegae’s No Brand Burger Chain Introduces the Better Burger as First of “Numerous” Alternative Launches in Korea

South Korea: Shinsegae Food, the food business arm of retail giant Shinsegae Group, announces the launch of the Better Burger at its No Brand Burger chain. The burger is created with its ground Better Meat and features fully plant-based cheese, bolognese sauce, and buns, which were all developed in-house. Interestingly, the company is touting the launch as a world’s first. Shinsegae claims this is the “first whose four major ingredients are all plant based, including ‘Better Bun’ […], a patty made with ‘Better Meat’, [and] recently developed veggie cheese and sauce. Among burger franchises around the world, No Brand Burger’s ‘Better Burger’ is the first burger even whose cheese is also plant-based.” This is a bold claim which is debatable, since even the McPlant is …


Ellen Kim, Nasoya

Ellen Kim, image courtesy of Nasoya


Nasoya: “We Really Cracked the Code to Create a Plant-Based Steak That Tastes Great”

We have been following the launches and developments of Nasoya since its parent company Pulmuone entered the plant-based meat category in 2021. The South Korean leader launched the Plantspired line under the Nasoya brand the following year, which has seen huge success (with sales up by an impressive 800% in October of last year) and multiple flavor extensions for the notable Plantspired steak which was featured in our recent roundup of popular plant-based steaks around the world. Nasoya is certainly one to watch, in our humble opinion. Marketing Director Ellen Kim kindly took the time to tell us more about the brand and its plans for the future. Can you please introduce Nasoya? Nasoya is the nation’s leading brand of tofu and Asian-inspired plant-based foods, …


© Loving Earth

Market & Trends

13.6% CAGR Expected for South Korean Vegan Chocolate Market as Plant-Based Diets Grow in Popularity

A report by Expert Market Research has predicted that the South Korean vegan chocolate market will grow with a significant CAGR of 13.6% through to 2028. The market is being driven by high rates of lactose intolerance in the country, which is leading manufacturers to develop dairy-free alternatives. Rising demand for healthy, clean-label products is also a factor; some consumers are opting for plant-based chocolate as it is cholesterol-free. Meanwhile, many younger consumers (Millennials and Gen Z) are increasingly aware of animal welfare issues and the environmental impact of animal agriculture. Rising disposable income and improved living standards are also boosting sales of vegan chocolate. As a result, an increasing number of Korean facilities are producing plant-based chocolate, and many manufacturers are expanding their ranges. …


© heimish IG

Retail & E-Commerce

Korean Vegan Beauty Brand Heimish Expands US Presence With Amazon Launch

Oneand, the parent company of Korean vegan beauty brand heimish, has announced it will expand its presence in the US market by launching on Amazon.  Heimish’s portfolio includes skin cleansers, hydrogel eye patches, hydrating toners, moisturizers, and cosmetics, all made without animal-derived ingredients. The products use plant-based ingredients such as matcha, moringa, and algae, aiming to respect the skin’s natural pH. Heimish products have previously obtained France’s EVE VEGAN certification, renowned globally for its rigorous inspections and distinctive factory audits.  “After the success of our All Clean Balm and All Clean Green Foam products at Walmart in the United States, we are now expanding our market presence through the Amazon channel. We anticipate that because heimish offers vegan beauty products certified by France’s EVE VEGAN, our …