8 Asian-Owned Plant-Based Companies to Support Now and Always
May marks Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, and to honor the month-long celebration we want to highlight Asian-owned brands that are breaking ground in the vegan or plant-based space.
We encourage you to consider donating to organizations such as Asian Mental Health Collective, Apex for Youth, and Asian Pacific COVID-19 Recovery Fund to help fight bias and violence against Asians. In recent years, hate crimes against Asians have spiked 150 percent in major cities, with women making up the majority of victims. Tragically, Asian elders have been the targets of violence on the streets, with assailants assaulting seniors simply going about their daily routines.
Beyond donating to these advocacy groups, you can also show your support by buying from Asian-owned businesses. Here are eight Asian-owned businesses in the plant-based world to support not just this week, but always.
1. Miyoko's Creamery
Founder Miyoko Schinner has completely transformed the dairy alternative market with her I-farm-style vegan butter and artisan vegan spreads and cheeses. Schinner is a passionate animal activist, and Miyoko's Creamery was born out of her desire to create a vegan butter that would revolutionize the dairy industry and give customers a taste-identical, cruelty-free option.
Since founding Miyoko's Creamery in 2014, Schinner has opened an animal sanctuary called Rancho Compasión alongside her husband to provide a home for rescued farm animals. To stay up to date with new product releases and catch Chef Miyoko's IG live recipe tutorials follow the brand's Instagram. The company has recently backed a program to help farmers switch from raising animals to growing plant-based food crops by giving them the tool kit they need to make the transition to plant-based agriculture.
Find Miyoko's Creamery products near you using the company's store locator here.
If you are hoping to learn how to create traditional Japanese, Chinese, or Korean dishes at home, but can't find authentic ingredients at your local supermarket, Umamicart is for you. Umamicart is an online Asian grocery retailer that stocks only the best products, delivering favorites like Fly By Jing's Sichuan Chili Sauce, miso paste, hand-pulled noodles, and tons of fresh fruit and vegetables to your door if you live in the Mid-Atlantic region. While Umamicart is not exclusively plant-based, it has a wealth of produce, tofu, and vegan snacks and drinks that will fit any dietary restrictions.
Founder Andrea Xu wanted to create a marketplace that would bring people together at the dinner table, whether it be over traditional dishes that were passed down for generations or adventuring on new culinary frontiers.
Explore the wonderful world of Umamicart on the retailer's website here.
Asian and Black-owned wellness company Golde is changing the way we get nutrients, with drink blends that include turmeric lattes, pure green tea matcha, cacao turmeric, hydration aids, and topical beauty products like all-natural face masks.
Co-founders Issey Kobori and Trinity Mouzon Wofford created the brand's first product in a one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment in 2017, and the superfood company has taken off since, with supporters raving about Golde's high quality and aesthetically-pleasing packaging. All Golde products are 100 percent natural and vegan-friendly and can be used in endless recipes, many of which are posted on the company's blog The Golden Hour.
You can purchase Golde products online or find them in Target stores nationwide.
4. Yobo Soju Premium Soju
Yobo Soju founder Carolyn Kim set out to make a Soju that would fuse American and Korean traditions together, creating high-quality alcohol that is produced in the Finger Lakes of New York. The award-winning soju is made of just three ingredients: Grapes, yeast, and water, and contains no sulfites, preservatives, additives, or sugars, so you can be sure you're not putting any harmful chemicals into your body.
"Yobo’s identity is a fusion of Korean and American cultures, a balance between heritage and home, of homage and exploration, and of tradition and invention," Yobo Soju's site reads. "The spirit of Yobo’s identity guides every decision we make for our spirit, Yobo. As we continue to forge our own path forward, we are inspired by the magic that is born from the fusion of tradition and invention, and we’ll continue to explore new ways of sharing the soju we love with the world."
You can find Yobo Soju near you using the brand's retail locator here.
5. Dang Foods
Vegan-friendly Dang Foods Asian-inspired snacks were created when co-founder Vincent K. couldn't find any toasted coconut in NYC to recreate his mom's Thai lettuce wrap recipe, so he created his own. Alongside his brother Andrew, the two developed a range of gluten-free, keto snacks that include coconut chips, rice chips, and on-the-go bars, drawing inspiration from their Asian-American heritage to create seriously addicting products while ensuring the company upholds ethical business practices.
Dang Foods is a certified B-corp and sources coconuts from family farms in Thailand. It also supports organizations that aid refugees and people affected worldwide by natural disasters, proving that snacks taste better when they also do good.
You can purchase Dang Foods here on the company's website.
6. Snow Monkey
Snow Monkey's dairy-free ice creams were born out of founder, CEO, and athlete Rachel Geicke's desire to fuel her training with a healthier alternative to traditional dairy ice cream. Geicke was born in Hong Kong and played on the national field hockey team, eventually landing stateside to row on Boston University's rowing team. It was in college that Geicke was diagnosed with Celiac disease, which led her to examine the food she was eating more closely, search for alternative diets, and ultimately create Snow Monkey in her college apartment.
Snow Monkey is a creamy blend of superfoods, seeds, and fruit, and available in flavors including Açai Berry, Chocolate, Maple Cinnamon, Passion Fruit, Strawberry, Matcha Green Tea, and more, and are high-protein, dairy-free, and naturally sweetened.
You can purchase Snow Monkey pints on the brand's website here.
7. Fly By Jing
There's a good reason this pantry staple brand, known for its chili oil has gained nearly 100,000 Instagram followers: Its signature Sichuan Chili Crisp is one of the easiest ways to spice up any dish. Add a generous scoop of the chili crisp onto noodles, chopped cucumbers, fried dumplings, or any other treat for a dose of savory spice.
Born in Chengdu, founder and CEO Jing Gao launched her signature lineup of oils and sauces in 2018 to honor her Chinese heritage while providing a new take on the traditional condiment of chili oil with her unique recipe.
You can purchase Fly By Jing on the brand's website.
8. Strange Bird Beauty
Strange Bird beauty founder Tina Rudolf combined her experience as a therapist, life coach, and Reiki master to create a plant-powered beauty line that marries self-care and self-help with spirituality. Rudolf says that every product is made with an intention, and all are infused with gem and flower essences to help you unveil gorgeous skin, naturally, nourishing not only your physical body but uplifting you spiritually as well. All of Strange Bird's offerings are gluten-free, vegan, and cruelty-free, and one percent of all sales go towards organizations that support Women's Mental Health.
Strange Bird was inspired by Rudolf's Chinese-American heritage: Watching her grandmother give her mom facials with natural ingredients in her kitchen, and she created her brand to prove to her daughter that representation matters, having never seen someone that looked like her in media when she was growing up.