UCLA Anderson Startup KPOP Foods Gets Acquired By Korean Food Retailer

Molly Wright

Molly Wright is an intern for dot.LA. She previously edited the London School of Economics' student newspaper in the United Kingdom, interned for The Hollywood Reporter and was the blogging editor for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

KPop Foods
Image from KPopFoods.com
Food brand KPOP Foods, which was founded by two UCLA business school friends looking to spread their love of Korean food and culture, has been acquired by Korean foods retailer Wooltari USA.

The startup, which emerged from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wooltari USA and will leverage the retailer’s capabilities to expand its sourcing, product development and distribution, the companies said on Tuesday. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The purveyor of sauces, snacks and spices launched in 2017 through Kickstarter, where it raised nearly $40,000 to produce the brand’s eponymous KPOP Sauce. KPOP Foods grew its reach substantially after adding celebrity chef and Food Network star Chris Oh to its executive roster as head of product, with its food offerings—which include a kimchi mayo sauce, Korean potato chips and yuja tea—having reached up to 3,000 retailers nationwide.

Los Angeles-based Wooltari USA is well-established in the Korean food scene; it has partnerships with hundreds of Korean food manufacturers and operates six brick-and-mortar grocery stores locations in California, Texas and Virginia. Wooltari USA also offers one-day delivery in major cities and one-to-three-day shipping across the U.S.

"We share a common vision, and our teams possess expertise and knowledge in complementary areas,” KPOP Foods co-founder and CEO Theo Lee said in a statement. “Together, we're excited to influence the future of Korean food in the US."


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