Hirato Yamakazi first encountered the plant-based food movement while he was working as a tour guide during his university days. Through his work as a guide he met many vegetarian and vegan tourists from all over the world and he understood that sustainable foods were rapidly becoming extremely popular.
It was then that he realised that his own country, Japan, seemed to be lagging behind in this field. This came as a surprise to him considering historically, Japan has always had a rich plant based food culture, partly due to the 1200 year old ban on meat consumption prior to 1872.
“𝘗𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘵-𝘣𝘢𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘐 𝘰𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘯 𝘧𝘦𝘭𝘵 𝘢 𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘷𝘦𝘨𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘯-𝘷𝘦𝘨𝘢𝘯, 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘵-𝘣𝘢𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘥𝘪𝘦𝘵.”
The desire to break this boundary led to the founding of Umami United, a company that would “unite all at one table”. Hiroto’s company specialises in Japanese-inspired plant-based food using unique and innovative Japanese ingredients. Their products are packed with a burst of umami flavour, making the sensorial experience intense and savoury. Umami United’s first product is umami egg, made with konjac powder as the key ingredient.
“𝘜𝘔𝘈𝘔𝘐 𝘜𝘕𝘐𝘛𝘌𝘋 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘑𝘢𝘱𝘢𝘯’𝘴 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘵𝘩𝘴, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘵-𝘣𝘢𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥, 𝘵𝘰 𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘦𝘷𝘦 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯.”
📣 Hiroto was part of the #BIVCohort5. If you would like to join our next cohort and receive a US$200,000 investment package to fast-track your alternative protein startup apply here.