Pulmuone Food & Culture Co. Ltd., the cafeteria services management unit of Seoul-based food producer Pulmuone, has launched a vegan restaurant in a shopping mall complex located in the upscale Gangnam district.
The location is also known as the hub of fashion and finance, so Pulmuone chose this location to set up their vegan restaurant to target the population here, especially the growing vegan communities.
According to Aju Business Daily, the number of people who don’t eat meat and prefer to be vegan has slowly increased in South Korea. Increased awareness of health and wellness have been cited as the main reasons for changes in lifestyles, including the food they eat.
According to the record of the Korean Vegetarian Union, the total number of vegans in the country has increased significantly from around 150,000 in 2008 alone to around 1.5 million in 2018. In fact, vegan restaurants have started to germinate, and in 2019 there were already 500.
With the growing popularity of veganism, the number of Korean vegans continues to increase, which has led to an increase in demand for vegan meat. Market research firm Euromonitor has released data showing that the vegan meat market in the country was worth £10.2 billion or $8 million in 2020. This shows that more and more people are going vegan since everyone wants to take better care of their health now.
With the rise, the Shinsegae Food company launched vegan meat products which were also supplied to Starbucks for its sandwiches. Convenience store Emart has also started adding Unlimeat plant-based meat products to its select outlets.
The trend also prompted Pulmuone Food & Culture Co. Ltd to set up its own vegan restaurant where Pulmuone’s vegan and plant-based products would be used in food preparations. The company said it named its vegan “Plantude” and people can visit it at the COEX mall in Seoul.
The restaurant has 47 seats and Pulmuone Food & Culture Co. Ltd has prepared a menu of 13 vegan dishes, including the plant-based rice bowl called Bulgogi Deopbap. The BBQ marinated beef on this menu features alternative meats. The Korean Vegan Assessment and Certification Agency has verified the company’s herbal products, and there is a certificate for it.