KPOP Foods

A vibrant food brand inspired by Korean cuisine and culture

Company overview

Date Established:
2017
Description:
A vibrant food brand inspired by Korean cuisine and culture
Founder:
Founders:
Theo
,
Mike
,
Chris
Headquarters:
Los Angeles, CA
Industry:
Food
Social Media:
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about

When KPOP Foods launched in 2017, it started with just one product, KPOP Sauce, a savory, rich, and full bodied chili sauce. In three years, KPOP Foods quickly expanded the line of sauces to include 3 other flavors as well as 2 roasted seaweed snacks. The key ingredient behind all of the sauces is the Korean fermented chili paste, or gochujang, a quintessential ingredient in Korean food that creates the depth of flavor in each of the sauces. The seaweed snacks are flavorful, easy-to-enjoy, and low in calories, making them the perfect healthy snack.

KPOP Foods' mission is to uplift spirits and bring people together by sharing Korean food and flavors in America.They aim to make these flavors more accessible to encourage discovery and exploration.

The sauce lineup includes: KPOP Sauce, KPOP XXX - the hotter, bolder version of KPOP Sauce; Honey Glaze - a beautiful blend of honey and jalapeños, which is perfectly sweet with a slight kick; and Kimchi Mayo their signature aioli inspired by the spice and tang of kimchi, it's creamy, silky, with a little kick. Their Original Sea Snacks are made with only 4 ingredients - seaweed, roasted sea salt, sunflower oil, and sesame oil. Lastly, their newest product, Kimchi Sea Snacks, are just like their original, but with a kick. Today, KPOP Foods is venture-backed, having raised over $2.0 million in capital, and grew its sales by over 300% in 2020. KPOP Foods can be found online at kpopfoods.com, Amazon, and in over 500 retail locations across the U.S.

founding story

When co-founders, Theo Lee and Mike Kim met in business school, they quickly became friends and many late-night group study sessions turned into late-night Korean BBQ. Seeing their friends' delighted reactions to the delicious and communal experience of Korean food sparked an idea. Using Theo's grandma's original secret recipe for Korean gochujang sauce, Mike and Theo created their first bottle of KPOP Sauce and KPOP Foods was born! KPOP Foods debuted on Kickstarter and successfully met the goal of $10,000 in under 8 hours and ended the campaign with nearly $40,000 from over 1,200 backers. Soon after KPOP Foods was launched, they caught the eye and tastebuds of celebrity chef Chris Oh. Chris's experience and energy made him the perfect fit to join the KPOP Foods team! With Chris at their side, they continue to push Korean cuisine and culture to the forefront, and hope to foster a community where people can discover and enjoy the uniqueness of Korean food and flavors!

Bios

Theo
Lee

CEO and co-founder of KPOP Foods, Theo Lee is a true Bruin, studying at UCLA for his undergrad as well as his MBA. Right after undergrad, Theo went into investment banking and quickly discovered that the corporate life was not for him. He then went to business school, met Mike, and the rest is history. With KPOP Foods, Theo hopes to build and bring awareness to Korean food and flavors and make KPOP Foods the Korean food brand in America. Not only that, but he hopes his story and the story of KPOP Foods can be an inspiration to future Asian American entrepreneurs. 

Mike
Kim

After receiving a B.S. in Engineering Management from the United States Military Academy at West Point, Mike served for over five years in various roles including Infantry Platoon Leader, Project Manager, to Assistant Operations Officer. In the US Army, he led teams of up to 60 people across multiple cities in the United States, Afghanistan, and South Korea. Shortly after, Mike transitioned from military service to the UCLA Anderson School of Management and began working as a Strategy and Business Development Associate at Edison Water Resources. After becoming friends with Theo and many late night KBBQ experiences with their friends, Mike and Theo pursued KPOP Foods full time in 2017. Mike hopes that KPOP Foods will inspire future entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams and as a veteran, hope to show future veterans that transitioning from military to civilian life is possible.

Chris
Oh

Believe it or not, Chris was not always a chef. A lifetime ago, Chris opened a real estate business and some carwash businesses. However, he could not ignore his love for food, so he decided to take a leap of faith. He sold his businesses and landed his first culinary job by lying on his resume. After working in kitchens all over Los Angeles, he honed his skill and developed his palette. Now Chris is the owner of restaurants such as Um.ma, Chingu, and Kamu. He is the founder of Seoul Sausage Co, Co-founder of Hanjip, managing partner of Escala, and has won of Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen, Esquire Network’s Knife Fight, and Food Network’s Great American Food Truck Race among others. He joined KPOP Foods as Head of Product in 2018 and has helped grow their line of sauces from one to four sauces and two roasted seaweed snacks.

Products

Original Korean Chili Sauce

Experience the taste of Seoul based on a secret family recipe used for 80 years. Flavor starts off slightly sweet with a savory umami, and finishes with a satisfying kick of heat.

Original Korean Chili Sauce

$
8.99
Description:

Experience the taste of Seoul based on a secret family recipe used for 80 years. Flavor starts off slightly sweet with a savory umami, and finishes with a satisfying kick of heat.

Details:
Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste, Lime Juice, Soy Sauce, Water, Sugar.
Request Sample
Organic Seaweed Snack

KPOP Sea Snacks is a sustainably-sourced, premium roasted seaweed snack made with high quality, all-natural ingredients. Created for the everyday go-getter and easy to enjoy anywhere, these healthy and tasty snacks are perfect for the office, gym, or classroom! Roasted in California and a proud product of the USA.

Organic Seaweed Snack

$
8.99
Description:

KPOP Sea Snacks is a sustainably-sourced, premium roasted seaweed snack made with high quality, all-natural ingredients. Created for the everyday go-getter and easy to enjoy anywhere, these healthy and tasty snacks are perfect for the office, gym, or classroom! Roasted in California and a proud product of the USA.

Details:
Seaweed, sunflower oil, sesame oil, sea salt
Request Sample
Sauce Gift Sets

Ready to be gifted, these are the ultimate holiday sets for foodies, BBQ lovers, and sauce enthusiasts.

Specially curated by Food Network champion and award-winning celebrity chef, Chris Oh, our sauce sets let you experience the iconic flavors of Korean cuisine wherever you want, whenever you want.

Each set comes in a gift box and includes:

Sauce Gift Sets

$
39.99
Description:

Ready to be gifted, these are the ultimate holiday sets for foodies, BBQ lovers, and sauce enthusiasts.

Specially curated by Food Network champion and award-winning celebrity chef, Chris Oh, our sauce sets let you experience the iconic flavors of Korean cuisine wherever you want, whenever you want.

Each set comes in a gift box and includes:

Details:
Request Sample
Kimchi Mayo Sauce

Created by successful restaurateur, Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race and Cutthroat Kitchen champion, Chef Chris Oh. This sauce is like the regular mayo you know and love, but BETTER. By combining Korean chili peppers, garlic, lemon, and vinegar to create a bold and zesty twist to mayo, Kimchi Mayo is the new comfort food of condiments.


Kimchi Mayo Sauce

$
8.99
Description:

Created by successful restaurateur, Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race and Cutthroat Kitchen champion, Chef Chris Oh. This sauce is like the regular mayo you know and love, but BETTER. By combining Korean chili peppers, garlic, lemon, and vinegar to create a bold and zesty twist to mayo, Kimchi Mayo is the new comfort food of condiments.


Details:
Mayonnaise, Chili Sauce, Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste, Vinegar, Garlic, Jalapeño, Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, Soy Sauce, Water, Crushed Red Pepper, Sugar.
Request Sample
Korean Honey Chili Sauce

Created by successful restaurateur, Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race and Cutthroat Kitchen champion, Chef Chris Oh. Blending honey, gochujang, jalapeños, garlic, and lime, this sauce is delightfully sweet and subtly savory with a slight kick. Guaranteed to satisfy both your sweet and savory cravings!

Korean Honey Chili Sauce

$
8.99
Description:

Created by successful restaurateur, Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race and Cutthroat Kitchen champion, Chef Chris Oh. Blending honey, gochujang, jalapeños, garlic, and lime, this sauce is delightfully sweet and subtly savory with a slight kick. Guaranteed to satisfy both your sweet and savory cravings!

Details:
Chili Sauce (Sugar, Water, Pickled Red Chilli, Vinegar, Garlic, Salt, Xanthan Gum), Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste (Fermented Rice Paste [Rice, Salt, Koji-Starter, Water], Corn Syrup, Hot Pepper Powder, Soybean Paste [Soybean, Water, Salt, Koji-Starter], Distilled Alcohol [Derived from Agricultural Products], Salt, Wheat Extract, Fermented Soy Seasoning [Soybean, Water, Sea Salt, Wheat Extract, Distilled Alcohol, Yeast Extract], Garlic Juice Concentrate, Water), Ketchup (Tomato Concentrate from Red Ripe Tomatoes, Distilled Vinegar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Salt, Spice, Onion Powder, Natural Flavoring), Honey, Garlic, Jalapeño, Fish Sauce (Anchovy Extract, Water, Salt), Sesame Oil, Lime Juice, Lemon Juice.
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retailers

Amazon
Bristol Farms
Hy-Vee
Lowes Foods

press releases

Press articles

Mantry
Street Food Vol. 4
For the late-night gourmand, these products will help you recreate your favorite street foods.
Bakery and Snacks
Product showcase 2020: The trendsetters leading the way for six of the hottest trend predictions for 2021 and beyond
From Ginger Bakers' vegan cakes, to KPOP's sustainable seaweed snacks and Bart & Judy's 'clean' gourmet chocolate chip cookies, these are trending foods to look for in 2021.
Forbes
Food Trends For 2021: Korean Flavors Go Mainstream
Korean food and flavors are going mainstream. Try KPOP Foods to see what the hype is about.

testimonial