• Press Releases
  • 2019.06.27

Pulmuone Kimchi to Hit Shelves of 5,000 Walmart and Publix Stores in US

◦ Pulmuone to sell kimchi in all 3,900 Walmart stores and all 1,100 Publix stores in US

◦ Pulmuone to become the first domestic kimchi manufacturer to enter all US Walmart stores after 2 years of efforts to meet pre-qualification requirements

◦ Original kimchi directly imported from Korea to be delivered to US consumers through Pulmuone’s nationwide distribution and logistics network

◦ Vegan eating, Asian cuisine’s popularity and Korean wave in US expected to be a boon to Pulmuone’s kimchi export


SEOUL – June 27th, 2019 Pulmuone, a global fresh food company headquartered in Seoul, Republic of Korea, announced on June 27 that the company will sell its kimchi products in all Walmart and Publix stores in the U.S.


By supplying its kimchi products to 3,900 Walmart stores and 1,100 Publix stores in the U.S., Pulmuone is set to expand in America’s mainstream kimchi market.

▲ Packaging designs of Pulmuone's Kimchi Products



Complying with Walmart’s pre-qualification requirements takes more than a company’s reputation in its homeland. To become a qualified supplier to Walmart, one must prove its product quality, taste, profitability, and production capacity, and only a handful of Korean food makers have partnered with Walmart so far.   


After 2 years of efforts to net a deal, Pulmuone became Korea’s first kimchi manufacturer to fill the shelves of all Walmart and Publix stores in the U.S.


Pulmuone’s partnership with Walmart was made possible due to the following reasons:


◦ Pulmuone, which began to produce and sell tofu to Korean residents in the U.S. early in 1991 and acquired America’s No.1 tofu brand Nasoya in 2016, received high marks for its U.S. nationwide distribution and logistics network. Global sales of Pulmuone’s tofu amounted to more than $ 345 million last year.


◦ Pulmuone kimchi is a Korean traditional dish directly imported from the country of origin. Contrary to longstanding tradition that local production is the most feasible option for selling kimchi because of the difficulties in maintaining the temperature and fermentation level, Pulmuone chose to directly export kimchi products from its plant in Iksan, Korea to mainland U.S. as Kimchi relies on ingredients and environment for its original taste and quality. For instance, kimchi made from the same kind of napa cabbage can develop totally different tastes according to the soil and the temperature conditions. Moreover, it is difficult for locally produced kimchi to have an original taste and texture as kimchi is a fermented food similar to wine and cheese in that it is easily affected by the microbes and soil they grow in.


◦ With temperature-controlled storing and shipping and localized ingredients, Pulmuone kimchi products are offered with an optimal fermentation level and fresh taste, alleviating the odors of kimchi that might have been offensive to some American consumers. In addition, as all 4 of Pulmuone’s kimchi variations are vegan, free of any salted fish or shrimp, its business is expected to benefit from the recent rise in the vegan food market.


◦ Pulmuone has made relentless efforts to maintain and improve the tradition of making and sharing kimchi, including funding for the nation’s first kimchi museum Kimchikan, which is now a must-visit in Insa-dong, Seoul with approx. 1 million visitors in total, for the past 32 years.



Pulmuone kimchi travels 9,257 km in 30 days from Global Kimchi Plant in Iksan, Korea to Pulmuone Foods USA warehouse in Gilroy, CA, US. Pulmuone’s Korean-clay-jar-inspired Cooling Technology is applied from storing and shipping to ensure the delivery of fresh and tangy kimchi high in lactic acid bacteria to U.S. consumers.


Kimchi products of Pulmuone will be sold under Nasoya, a no.1 brand in U.S. tofu market owned by Pulmuone Foods USA. Pulmuone’s kimchi lineup includes Nasoya Kimchi Spicy (397g), Nasoya Kimchi Mild (397g), Nasoya Radish Kimchi Miild (397g) and Nasoya White Kimchi Mild (411g).


Pulmuone is seeing positive signals already on display with increasing popularity of kimchi and Korean food in general among U.S. consumers. “Since the U.S. magazine Health named kimchi one of the 5 world’s healthiest foods, kimchi has caught on with consumers in the U.S.,” said Jun-hwa Lee, a category manager at Pulmuone Foods Korea. “The staple Korean dish is surging in popularity as U.S. consumers discover kimchi and its health benefits as a probiotic food.”            


“As Asian Americans’ consumer buying power grows, more U.S. consumers are getting a taste of Asian food, and with the Korean wave penetrating in America thanks to K-pop such as BTS, the millennial and Gen Z consumers in the U.S. are increasingly familiar with Korean food,” he added. “With the recent rise in vegan eating being a boon, we are expecting to expand in the U.S. mainstream kimchi market and be the no.1 brand.”




About Pulmuone’s Global Kimchi Plant

Pulmuone has opened a smart kimchi manufacturing plant on May 24th, 2019 to boost its global exports of the fermented traditional Korean side dish. The Global Kimchi Plant, a 30,000-square-meter facility located in Iksan, Korea, is expected to accommodate the growing demand for premium kimchi in the global markets with its annual capacity of 10,000 tons of kimchi variations including vegan napa cabbage kimchi, vegan napa cabbage white kimchi, vegan cubed radish kimchi, etc.


The new kimchi plant is equipped with modern technologies for its automated ingredient storage, processing, packaging and shipping. The entire manufacturing process is monitored by IP (Internet Protocol) cameras and IoT (Internet of Things) sensors to maintain temperature, humidity and salt concentrations at a constant level, and RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) technology is applied for real-time storage management to ensure the optimized fermentation of each of the products with different destinations including the U.S., China and Japan.


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