Huge plant-based protein plant to be built in Korea
Zikooin, the startup that manufactures the Unlimeat brand of vegan beef, has raised $23 million in new funding round to fuel the construction of its new factory. The round was led by KDB Bank and saw participation from STIC Ventures, PremierPartners, and Crit Ventures, among others.
The plant, located in Jecheon city, is set to become one of Asia’s largest plant-based meat factories with its land area spanning over 14,650 sqm. Zikooin, which produces not only the Unlimeat brand of vegan beef but also plant-based patties, minced meat, meatballs and vegan cheddar cheese, says that its new “Clean Meat Factory” will be fully operational by mid-2022. Its range of alternatives are primarily made from upcycled grains, oats, and nuts, helping to cut down on food waste. Zikooin hopes that the ramped-up production capabilities will help it become one of the leading exporters of vegan meat substitutes in the region. At the moment, its vegan beef brand Unlimeat is sold across Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Australia and the US.
We have carried out a large-scale infrastructure investment in preparation for increasing our production capacity. The results will propel us as leaders of the alternative meat sector and enable us to expand our export market share,” shared the company’s CEO Min Keum-chae.
Domestically, Zikooin has also doubled down its presence by partnering with large food companies, including convenience chain CU, and QSR giant Domino’s Pizza. Plant-based demand in South Korea has been on the rise since the pandemic, with data showing that the number of vegans in the country has tripled to half a million, while flexitarianism has ballooned to an estimated 10 million—representing nearly 20% of the country’s total population.
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