South Korea-Based Pulmuone Expands Fullerton, California, Plant
According to company officials, the expansion will help meet accelerated demand as the total U.S. tofu market size has increased from $91 million in 2018 to an expected $182 million in 20221 and one in four Americans say they are eating more protein from plant sources than a year ago.
"The pandemic accelerated what was already unprecedented demand for our tofu products. Across our tofu portfolio sales rose 17% from January-December 2020 to January-December 2021," said Elliot Chung, Director of Plant-Based Protein Innovation at Pulmuone USA.
Near-term, Pulmuone said it expects this additional capacity will help drive 20% sales growth in 2022. The expansion will also offer Pulmuone the opportunity to continue to grow beyond current capacity with the expectation that production will grow by 50% by 2025.
"Americans are eating less meat for their own health and that of the planet, but they don't want to sacrifice flavor or performance in the kitchen. We've been able to showcase that tofu is a versatile, high-protein product with only a few simple ingredients that's also relatively affordable. It hits on all the key attributes today's consumer is looking for at the grocery store," he added.
Founded in South Korea as a small organic produce store in 1981, Pulmuone noted it was the first company to sell packaged tofu products in Korea. Today, it is one of the largest healthy food manufacturers in Asia and has introduced its rich tofu tradition here in America through brands including Nasoya, the country's leading brand of tofu, Wildwood, Azumaya, Pulmuone, Sansui and Soga.
"The completion of the facility expansion gives us the ability to grow in a cost-effective, timely manner consistent with our long-term vision. With this capacity increase, we expect that it will help us to drive sales growth and provide more room to enter new North American markets including Canada," continued Chung.
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