OMNI Unveils Lion’s Mane Mushroom Steak & Dessert Baos at Expo West

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Hong Kong-based OmniFoods is exhibiting two new products at this week’s Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California (March 12-16): a lion’s mane mushroom steak that’s part of its new whole-food OMNI Garden range, and a line of dessert-themed baos.

OmniFoods is the latest company to lean into the thriving whole-food plant-based trend, with the company ready to showcase its new OMNI Garden range. It will be part of its participation at Expo West, which starts today and features a large plant-based presence.

At the trade fair, it will unveil a vegan steak made from lion’s mane mushrooms as the first OMNI Garden offering, marking the first new product launched by OMNI since the debut of its Luncheon 2.0 SKU in Hong Kong. In the US, this will be its first new offering since it introduced savoury baos in early 2023. Following that theme, OMNI will also exhibit a range of dessert baos in four flavours alongside the new steak.

“OMNI is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of plant-based food and delivering remarkable culinary experiences,” said OMNI co-founder and CEO David Yeung. “We are thrilled to unveil the Lion Mane’s Mushroom Steak at Expo West, and we believe it will become the new generation of fungi innovation and revolutionise the way people perceive plant-based alternatives.”

Expo West gets a taste of OMNI’s lion’s mane steak and sweet baos

omni bao
Courtesy: OMNI

The OMNI Garden series celebrates vegetables through a range of bowls, patties and other products, with the brand hoping to provide “an exceptional gastronomic experience” that boasts natural flavours and nutritional benefits.

While Big Mountain Foods makes lion’s mane burgers and crumbles, OMNI’s offering would mark the first vegan steak product made from these mushrooms in the US. It follows the launch of Wagamama’s limited-edition lion’s mane steak in the UK for Veganuary this year.

“The OMNI Garden series is a testament to our commitment to innovation and our mission to create exceptional plant-based products,” said Yeung.

OMNI’s sweet bao series, meanwhile, features four flavours: molten chocolate, matcha, red bean, and black sesame. And the company will hope this launch can build on the success of its savoury Teriyaki and Korean BBQ baos, which are now available at over 1,200 Albertsons banner stores.

Apart from the new products, the plant-based startup is collaborating with chefs from vegan eatery MANEATINGPLANT Los Angeles, who will take over its tasting booth to showcase dishes using OMNI’s products.

It caps off a year where the Hong Kong-headquartered company strengthened its market foothold, most notably with a partnership with Neat for its vegan fish, which won a gold award for Best Vegan Fish in Vegan Food & Living’s Product Awards 2023. OMNI also revamped its packaging design and received two Best In Class honours from PAC Global Awards in New York.

OMNI leans into growing whole-food plant-based trend

burger king black bean
Courtesy: Burger King

This year has seen a magnified focus on whole foods in the plant-based sector. Last year, a survey showed that, among different protein sources, those originating from whole plants experienced the sharpest rise in consumption among Americans between 2022 and 2023, with 28% eating them ‘somewhat’ or ‘much more’. Additionally, these foods had the second-lowest drop (11%) in intake, behind plant-based meat and seafood analogues (10%).

Just earlier this year, fast-casual chain Smashburger partnered with jackfruit meat producer Jack & Annie’s to debut a new burger, while for Veganuary, Dave’s Hot Chicken released its first meat-free options with cauliflower sliders and bites, and Hard Rock Cafe in Broadway introduced a menu with cauliflower wings and a mushroom primavera pasta.

Chipotle’s braised tofu (Sofritas) and Shake Shack’s veggie burger are further examples of popular restaurants embracing whole foods, as is Chipotle founder Steve Ells’ new vegan chain Kernel, whose menu is focused on whole foods too. Meanwhile, Beyond Meat has revamped its recipe to include fava beans and red lentils.

In the UK, too, Veganuary was all about whole foods. Burger King relaunched its black bean burger, Leon went for a gut-healthy bhaji wrap with courgettes, peas and broad beans, Pizza Express presented a new calzone packed with vegetables, and Marugamu Udon unveiled a pumpkin katsu curry option to its menu.

Additionally, as mentioned above, Wagamama highlighted lion’s mane mushrooms – but it was far from the only company doing so. Pret A Manger rolled out a VLT with vegan bacon rashers made from roasted shiitake and chestnut mushrooms, as well as a bánh mì featuring sticky BBQ roasted mushrooms as the meat. Also taking to the mushroom meat trend was Zizzi, whose new Rustic pizza featured Fable Foods’ pulled shiitake mushrooms.

The focus on mushrooms comes after a year when mycelium (or mushroom root) started becoming mainstream, with new innovations, breakthroughsproduct launches and a host of funding rounds. It’s a $2.85B market led by the likes of Quorn, Nature’s Fynd and Meati – and it’s only set to grow, given mycelium’s nutritional and environmental prowess, ability to scale in a cost-competitive manner, and potential to tackle global hunger and food insecurity.

With its new lion’s mane steak, can OMNI join the fungi frenzy?


  • Anay Mridul

    Anay is Green Queen's resident news reporter. Originally from India, he worked as a vegan food writer and editor in London, and is now travelling and reporting from across Asia. He's passionate about coffee, plant-based milk, cooking, eating, veganism, food tech, writing about all that, profiling people, and the Oxford comma.

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