David Yeung’s OmniFoods makes a splash in the UK
David Yeung is co-founder and CEO of OmniFoods, the Hong Kong-based food innovation arm under Green Monday Holdings, which is a global leading plant-based food company. OmniFoods' range of alternative protein products includes the OmniPork series, OmniSeafood series, and OmniEat series. With R&D in Canada and a distribution network in over 20 markets, OmniFoods is a partner to many of the world's top restaurants and retail chains. OmniFoods' products have received various international awards & accolades - OmniPork Mince and OmniPork Luncheon were awarded a One-star Great Taste Award in 2021, and Omni Golden Fillet received the Silver Quality Award in the Monde Selection 2022. Their meatless pork products are already well established in Asia and were introduced last year to the UK market. The company is now launching its OmniSeafood range to the UK market.
V-Land UK (V-L): What was the inspiration behind OmniFoods?
David Yeung (DY): OmniFoods’ mission is to innovate food solutions that merge impact with what our global consumers want: great tasting, healthy, versatile, and sustainable food choices. OmniFoods is a trailblazer that leverages food technology to build a sustainable ecosystem of future food — one of the most urgent issues in the world right now.
V-L: Where do you see OmniFoods in five years' time? And what impact do you hope to have?
DY: Given the clock is seriously ticking when it comes to climate change, the world needs to move aggressively towards alternative protein. OmniFoods strives to be one of the impactful catalysts to empower that transition.
V-L: OmniFoods are famous for the extraordinary Omnipork; please explain what it is?
DY: The first product under OmniFoods is our revolutionary Omnipork – a game-changer for Asia and the world, which took 2 years to create. Omnipork is designed to be an all-purpose plant-based pork analogue that is nutritionally superior and environmentally friendly. Through our proprietary blend of plant-based protein from pea, non-GMO soy, shiitake mushroom and rice, our superfood Omnipork offers high-quality complete vegan protein to fulfil our body. It is also cholesterol-free, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, cruelty-free, and 71% lower in saturated fat and 62% lower in calories than real pork, while offering much higher fibre, 233% higher in calcium and 53% higher in iron.
V-L: Was there a conscious decision to have real and limited ingredients to make up OmniPork?
DY: For some consumers, the long ingredient lists and the processed nature of some plant-based meat alternatives on the market are a big concern as consumers become more health-conscious, driving the rise of the “clean label” movement. When we launched OmniPork, it had one of the shortest and cleanest ingredient lists in the industry. And in terms of texture, OmniPork is succulent, tender and juicy. It can be seasoned in many ways, and can be steamed, pan-fried, deep-fried, stuffed, crumbled or turned into meatballs.
V-L: Can we enjoy it when we eat out, such as in restaurants in their mock meats?
DY: OmniPork and OmniSeafood can be found in many more dining locations, showcasing its omni applications.
V-L: What is the reasoning behind the OmniSeafood range? And why are you so passionate about it?
DY: On World Oceans Day 2021, we launched our OmniSeafood range. Despite fish being an essential protein source for 3.3 billion people and providing 17% of the world’s animal protein, plant-based seafood currently accounts for less than 1% of the plant-based protein market in the United States. Moreover, given that seafood consumption in Asia makes up 73% of global seafood consumption, there is huge untapped potential.
V-L: What are the different products in the OmniSeafood range?
DY: The OmniSeafood series is one of the most comprehensive plant-based seafood line, covering naked fish to fried fish, as well as salmon, tuna and crab cake. We are also the first in the world to introduce a non-battered plant-based white fish to the market.
V-L: Why do you think individuals should pick up your mock meats over the real thing?
DY: With the pandemic wreaking havoc and fully exposing the inhumane, inefficient and unsustainable aspects of the livestock industry, it’s important to have meat substitutes. In addition to Covid-19, we got an outbreak of African Swine Fever, Avian Flu and Shrimp Virus happening simultaneously in various parts of the world. We are not asking people to completely change their diet to plant-based overnight. It is important that we embrace people who attempt a plant-based diet even for one meal each week. Once the door is open and they get to experience for themselves the green side of the culinary universe, they will take their plant-based routine to the next level at their own pace.
V-L: Is purchasing Omni Seafood cheaper than fish?
DY: OmniSeafood product prices are similar to fish fillets or battered fish fillets, we can definitely compete with seafood. Apart from price, we should take the nutritional value into consideration. OmniSeafood is crafted with a proprietary blend of plant-based protein from non-GMO soy, pea and rice, Omni Classic Fillet and Omni Golden Fillet recreate plant-based versions of different preparations of mild white fishes in plant-based versions. More importantly, it’s a safe and mercury-free alternative, plant-based fish is a source of protein with a host of environmental benefits. It brings relief to fragile marine ecosystems and reduces the impact of discarded fishing gear on ocean plastic pollution.
V-L: Do you have other products in development for OmniFoods and the Seafood range?
DY: We have many exciting innovations in the pipeline; most cannot be disclosed yet.
V-L: Where can OmniFoods be purchased from in the UK?
DY: Recently, we launched the Omni Golden Fillet in the UK. It is available at our partnered restaurants including plant-based street food expert VetoMeato, vegan food specialist Hank’s Dirty and Sutton and Sons, the best family-run fish and chip shop in London.
For OmniPork, our restaurant partners include Nanny Bill’s, Royal China Club, and Park Chinois - here is the full list. OmniPork retail pack is available at Vegetarian Express and Mighty Plants.
Also, until August 14th you can purchase the limited edition OOWEE X OMNI Ocean Burger. Which really is the REEL Deal.
We can’t wait to try out OmniFoods when we eat out at partnered restaurants and wish them all the best for their future endeavours. You can check them out on Instagram or visit their website. If you would like to learn more about meat-free alternatives you may like to read our article on the topic.