While jaw-dropping sights are always a draw, I have to admit, my biggest motive to travel is to try all kinds of tasty foods. One country I can’t stop food-dreaming about is South Korea. With Lucky Foods latest expansion into retail, consumers who like to take their taste buds on a journey across the world don’t have to travel farther than the grocery store to hack into the delicious flavors of the Korean Peninsula. I catch up with Rachel Evans, Sales Representative, to learn more about the company’s retail and foodservice offerings.
“Lucky Foods began in 1980, when Tristan Jo's grandmother started her own restaurant that served spring rolls people could not get enough of. She started producing her spring rolls for foodservice and retail, and the company has since expanded to include kimchi, marinade, and hot sauce offerings as well,” Rachel tells me. “Korean barbecue is the next big thing nationwide, and our kimchi sauces and barbecue marinades tap into this trend. So far, we have received nothing, but positive responses, and we’re excited to help consumers bring Korean barbecue into their homes, especially during the summer barbecue season.”
Rachel notes that Lucky Foods’ kimchi is different from other kimchi on shelves. While the company follows the traditional process of taking Napa cabbage, fermenting it in a salt brine overnight, and adding in Korean chili pepper, fish sauce, ginger, and garlic, LuckyFoods switches things up by packing its kimchi fresh rather than undergoing a pre-fermentation process, like other companies. This helps the kimchi retain its flavor, freshness, and probiotic abilities. Hand-bottled, Lucky Foods kimchi is available in original, spicy, vegan, vegan spicy, and radish flavors.
Following the success of its kimchi, the company then took the natural next step and captured all of the great flavor in a kimchi hot sauce. And for good measure, Lucky Foods threw in a line of barbecue marinades as well. Traditionally the ginger-heavy Kalbi marinade would be used for short ribs and the garlic-heavy bulgogi marinade would be used for braised beef, but Rachel says both the hot sauces and marinades are versatile. Many in foodservice are fusing South Korean flavors with other flavors, and Rachel has heard chefs and consumers alike boasting of the deliciousness of the sauces and marinades for any type of meat or meat alternative recipe, like burgers, chicken wings, and more, with many even using them as condiment dips and mixes for cocktails like Bloody Mary’s.
“What’s unique about our products is we’re all natural, vegan, non-GMO, with no MSG, and all of our products—besides our hand-rolled spring rolls, which do come in a garbanzo bean wrapper for our gluten-free line—are gluten-free. We locally source all of our products and work with local companies as well. Our goal is to increase people’s access to healthy food with powerful flavors as we continue to grow our family-oriented business,” Rachel says.
Lucky Foods’ Korean barbecue marinades and kimchi hot sauces are available in 13.2-ounce bottles at retail and half gallon sizes for foodservice, while its kimchi is available in 14, 28, and 56 ounces at retail and in a 35-pound pail for foodservice.