Korean food startup KPOP Foods is acquired by online retail leader Wooltari USA

The Korean wave that has captured global attention is not limited to K-Pop music or K-Dramas, but encompasses the delicacies of Korean cuisine. Korean food brands are seeing growing demand around the world, and K-Cuisine restaurant startups are seen as a lucrative business. KPOP Foods, a Korean food startup launched via Kickstarter in 2017, announced that it had been acquired by United States, a leading retail and online grocer of Korean food products in the United States.

KPOP Foods was started by UCLA Anderson students Mike Kim and Theo Lee to bring the flavors of Korean cuisine to the world. Since its inception, KPOP Foods has experienced significant growth and recruited celebrity chef Chris Oh as its product manager. KPOP Foods has become a top seller in major online retail stores and is working with key distributors to bring its seaweed sauces and snacks to 3,000 retailers. KPOP Foods is currently available at popular retail chains such as Bristol Farms, Lowe’s Foods, Hy-Vee, etc. From July 2020 to July 2021, KPOP Foods experienced nearly 400% growth in store count. With the addition of Fresh Thyme Market and The Fresh Market in August 2021, the company shows no signs of slowing down in its retail expansion and quest to bring Korean flavors to the mainstream.

Wooltari USA is a fast-growing retail grocery brand that sources premium Korean food products directly from manufacturers in the United States and South Korea. It is one of the leading retailers of Korean food products in the United States. KPOP Foods will now operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Wooltari USA. Food startup gets enhanced product development, sourcing, and operations capabilities to expand distribution and services. KPOP Foods Co-Founder and CEO Theo Lee said, “We share a common vision and our teams have expertise and knowledge in complementary areas. Together, we are excited to influence the future of Korean cuisine in the United States.

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Anne G. Cash