Processors to Watch in 2019: Suji’s brings authentic Korean cuisine to american consumers
When Suji Park founded Suji’s in 2013, it was a small 30-seat restaurant in Seoul, delivering New York-style Sunday brunch to the Korean masses. Today, FDMR, Inc., doing business as Suji’s Korean Cuisine, is a multi-million-dollar international business that produces clean label Korean BBQ-style fresh and frozen entrées and sauces to grocery stores, clubs, mass retailers and universities nationwide.
“Our mission is to be the brand leader in Korean cuisine, by creating authentic, clean label, simple ingredient foods for the American market,” says Park. “To date, we are the only brand to offer a full line of Korean BBQ, meals and sauces to American consumers.”
At a Glance
Company Name: FDMR, Inc., DBA Suji's Korean Cuisine
HQs: Seattle, Wash.
Products: Fresh and frozen Korean-style entrées
No. of Employees: 10
Suji’s, Seattle, Wash., first entered the marketplace with Suji’s Savory Marinade and Suji’s Spicy Marinade sauces, which act as the base flavors for many of its products.
“We used time-honored recipes and authentic ingredients like Asian pear puree and chili peppers to create delicious flavors that work well with most vegetables, proteins and starches,” adds Park.
Then, Suji’s developed authentic Korean Bulgogi in Savory Beef, Savory Chicken and Spicy Pork varieties, available in the refrigerated or deli section of grocery stores nationwide.
Suji’s also offers a full line of Korean-style frozen entrées, known as Bentos, in Beef Bulgogi Over Rice, Chicken Bulgogi Over Rice and Kimchi Bacon Rice options.
“They are 2-compartment meals that include a main entrée over rice and a side of Japchae noodles,” says Park. “This product is a great choice for the busy professional or college student who enjoys exciting flavors and convenience.”
Suji’s recently launched traditional Korean beef short ribs called Kalbi, made from USDA Choice Beef and marinated in the company’s savory sauce.
“This product was developed with the help of our overseas chef, working alongside our U.S. team,” adds Park. “It comes raw and frozen, but because it is thinly sliced in the Korean style, it can easily be grilled to perfection in a matter of minutes.”
Suji’s offers a full line of Korean-style frozen entrées, known as Bentos.
Moving into 2019, Suji’s is developing a line of retail-ready meal kits.
“We have many new line extensions on the horizon as well new category introductions,” says Park. “We will continue to stay in tune with technological advancements in food development and processing to ensure we are leaders within our segment.”