In the hustle of Korea’s fast-paced life-style where to-do lists get longer, and the days get shorter, getting a healthy dinner on the table isn’t always a top priority. We’ve all been there: arriving home after a long day at the office with little time to cook, only to reach for the take-out menus or a quick-and-easy ramen fix. Luckily, that doesn’t have to be you.
Mogo, Korea’s first healthy, vegetarian-friendly, meal-kit service has begun taking orders and they are serious about giving convenient eating a healthy make over. The company offers a selection of vegetarian-friendly meal kits that come with pre-measured ingredients and instructions to make a meal for two to three people in 30 minutes or less.
“Our goal is to give people affordable, healthy, convenient food, with a range of flavors from Korean staples to international favorites,” said Joseph Hill, CEO. “You won’t find any mystery powders or unnaturally shaped meats in our meal-kits.”
At the core of each of Mogo’s recipes are superfoods, such as quinoa and lentils, brought to life with a rich variety of herbs and spices. The Texas Chili, for example, features red lentils in a smoky chipotle pepper sauce, proving that vegetarian food doesn’t have to be bland.
Korea’s vegetarian scene has largely existed as a niche market, but Mogo is the latest player to join an influx of vegetarian and health conscious food services. While companies like the Itaewon-based Plant and Sprout aim at the restaurant and meal planning market respectively, Mogo is focusing on pre-packaged convenience foods.
“Unfortunately, most pre-packaged foods are loaded with preservatives, artificial chemicals and flavors, and other things not found in nature,” said Hill. “We have created a product that not only appeals to the sorely forgotten vegetarian market, but also redefines how we look at pre-packaged meals.”
Mogo currently offers four custom-created options that can be ordered any time through their website and delivered to anywhere in Korea. Each of the four meals contain a complete protein profile, meaning that no meat is necessary and that the body gets all of the amino acids required for a healthy and happy body. Each kit costs 9,500 KRW and can serve up to three people, making it more affordable per serving than any of the vegetarian options currently offered.
“Healthy eating is a trend in Korea right now, and that means companies are taking advantage of it, charging exorbitant amounts for basic foods,” said Hill. “Eating well shouldn’t be expensive or difficult, and I knew going into this project that affordability and ease of use was going to be paramount to Mogo’s ideals.” That philosophy has already lead to a wave of good reviews and positive feedback from extremely happy customers.
“You really get a LOT of food for the price here, and I cannot recommend them enough,” said The Nerdventurists, a blogging duo of Kristina (@CurlyFourEyes) and Sora (@MDSora). “All the ingredients were exceptionally tasty. I had no problem finishing the dish and my friend Nicky and I had giant portions and there’s still leftovers!”
While the journey for many young vegetarian companies in Korea is a difficult one in a market that is still trying to shake off the label of being niche, Mogo remains hopeful that they can make people believe in delicious, healthy, vegetarian-friendly food, one meal kit at a time.
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