Pulmuone, one of the largest tofu companies in the world, announced a 100,000-square-foot expansion at its Fullerton, California, facility that doubles tofu production capabilities and creates 110 new jobs.
The expansion will help meet accelerated demand as the total U.S. tofu market size has increased from $91M in 2018 to an expected $182M in 2022 and one in four Americans say they are eating more protein from plant sources than a year ago. Near-term, Pulmuone 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.
Founded in South Korea by Won Kyung Sun as a small organic produce store in 1981, Pulmuone 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 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. “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.”
Pulmuone non-GMO and organic tofu products are available at over 22,300 grocery stores nationally and the additional California production capabilities complement tofu production at the company’s facilities on the East Coast, namely in Ayer, Massachusetts, just outside Boston, and Tappan, N.Y. This dual-coast strategy gives Pulmuone added efficiencies in serving the entire country.
“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.
Not only winning in taste and health benefits, tofu is also a positive plant-based protein choice for the planet. Compared to traditional meat products as well as plant-based meat substitutes, tofu produces the lowest CO2-equivalent emissions by carbon footprint per product, due to its minimal ingredients and simple processing.
Pulmuone is responsible for innovation that drives the category and introduces more Americans to the benefits of cooking with tofu. Tofu product innovations like Nasoya’s High Protein Super Firm Vacuum Pack, Extra Firm Twin Pack and TofuBaked are packed with plant-based protein and designed for added convenience for novice and experienced tofu eaters alike.