History of Tofu and Tofu Products (1995-2022)

William Shurtleff, Akiko Aoyagi

Publication Date: 2022 June 17

Number of References in Bibliography: 3597

Earliest Reference: 1995

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Brief chronology of tofu and tofu products (1995-2022).

1995 June – Pulmuone U.S.A., Inc. (pronounced PUL-mu-wun), a subsidiary of Pulmuone Co., Ltd., the largest manufacturer of tofu and of natural foods in Korea, starts making tofu (Firm, Soft, and Extra Soft) in South Gate, California. They focus on marketing their tofu to Korean-Americans, use Korean characters on their labels, and soon capture much of this market. By 12 June 1997 Pulmuone is making 20,000 pounds of tofu per day.

1997 March 12 – House Foods America Corporation holds the opening ceremony for America's largest tofu factory, in Garden Grove, California; the company soon closes its tofu plant in central Los Angeles.

1998 – Nature Soy, Inc. (Datian Doupin Chang) starts making tofu and tofu products in Philadelphia. It grew out of an earlier company, Sunkee Tofu Co., started in 1990 in Philadelphia by Wen Yatsun (Gene He 2013).

1999 Oct. 26 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorizes a health claim stating that consumption of 6.25 grams of soy protein per serving, as a part of a healthy diet, low in saturated fats and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels. This claim soon appears on the front of many products that meet these requirements. It leads to the creation of many new soy products and generates major public interest in soyfoods

2002 May – Pulmuone’s tofu plant in Tappan, New York, starts operations – located in an existing older building.

2002 May 8 – Dean Foods (America's largest dairy company) announces that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the 64% equity interest in White Wave, Inc. it does not currently own. The price of this 64% was approximately $189 million, bringing Dean's total investment to approximately $204 million. White Wave had total sales of approximately $125 million during the 12 months ending 31 March 2002.

2003 Aug. – Pulmuone’s tofu plant in Fullerton, California, starts operations in an existing new building. Shortly thereafter their tofu plant in South Gate, California, is closed.

2004 April 19 – Wildwood Natural Foods, Inc. (formerly known as Wildwood Harvest Foods, Inc.) enters into a strategic alliance with Pulmuone U.S.A., Inc. Pulmuone purchases shares of Wildwood stock and ends up owning a controlling interest – more than 50% of the shares. In May 2004 Pulmuone takes the principals of Wildwood to Seoul, Korea, for 4-5 days to celebrate the Pulmuone’s (the parent company’s) 25th anniversary. On 16 Dec. 2004 Pulmuone USA acquires the remaining shares of Wildwood and the merged company resolves to use a fictitious name – PMO Wildwood – which was later adopted as the corporate name on 6 Oct. 2005, and then changed to Pulmuone Wildwood on 1 Dec. 2005.

2009 Aug. – Hodo Soy Beanery starts making soyfoods (mostly tofu and yuba) in Oakland, California. Founded as Basic Soy Beanery in May 2004 by Minh Tsai and close relatives, the company was renamed Hodo Soy Beanery in Sept. 2005.

Click here to download the full text to open and read book History of Tofu and Tofu Products (1995-2022)