UNLIMEAT Brings Its Popular Plant-Based Meat to the USA
SEOUL, South Korea and NEW YORK, Jan. 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- UNLIMEAT, a leading meat substitute brand in Asia, is now entering the US market. UNLIMEAT launched its flagship product 'UNLIMEAT Slices' in 2019. UNLIMEAT Slices are an alternative meat entirely made from natural plant-based ingredients such as soy protein, pea protein, coconut oil, cacao powder, and rice flour. Made using the company's proprietary protein extrusion technology, they have a robust beef-like flavor and texture. The Slices have been widely praised by industry groups including the UK's FoodTech 500 and France's Monde Selection 2020, in which it won a bronze medal.
The company has launched a wide variety of associated products, including a plant-based minced meat product that can be used like minced or ground beef, a burger patty, and a pulled barbecue meat that resembles slow roasted pork. UNLIMEAT is expanding its market beyond Korea by collaborating with restaurants to launch UNLIMEAT menu items, then entering retail channels in places like Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam.
Its online sales in the US are only the first step in the company's 2022 globalization strategy. It plans to gradually move from online sales to collaborating with restaurants on menu items, then begin launching its products in brick-and-mortar stores. In commemoration of their US online launch, the company announced its arrival in America with an advertisement in New York's Times Square on the Thomson Reuters billboard.
According to Euromonitor International, a global market research firm, the global meat substitute market was worth $4.94 billion in 2020 and is estimated to reach $5.59 billion in 2021. It's expected to further grow to $6.04 billion in 2023. Given current trends emphasizing value-consciousness and ethical consumption, it is likely that the market share of alternative meats in the total meat market will be as high as 60% by 2040.
The US is a mature market with a well-developed vegetarian culture, accounting for 21% of the global demand for meat substitutes – about $1 billion in value. There are many players in the US meat alternative scene, including famous brands such as Impossible and Beyond as well as lesser-known brands such as Quorn and Morningstar Farms. However, none of these brands offer products suited to Asian cuisine. From Parasite to Squid Game to BTS, Korean media has exploded in popularity, and this surging popularity has led to growing interest in Korean food. As a Korean brand, UNLIMEAT's newly launched Slices and Pulled Barbecue were designed from the ground up with Asian cooking in mind, particularly Korean dishes such as bulgogi and stir-fried meat with Gochujang. An UNLIMEAT representative said, "We plan to expand in the US market in earnest by securing a supply chain and logistics network mainly on the West Coast first. We want to provide more options to the American table through our Asian-style plant-based meat."