The Japanese housewares chain has introduced four ready-to-eat faux-meat products in its home country.

By Mike Pomranz
November 03, 2020
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Who doesn’t love the Japanese retail chain Muji? When else do you get to walk into a stationary store and walk out with a polo shirt and two pairs of jeans? Of course, Muji sells plenty of other things besides notepads and sweaters. Beyond furniture and beauty products and everything else, the American version of the global brand also boasts snacks like Candy Yuzu & Kinkan and Chocolate Cream Sandwich Crackers. In Japan, the culinary offerings go even further, including things like canned and frozen foods. And now, Muji is even jumping on the plant-based meat trend (though only in Japan). Meet Muji’s ready-to-eat meat alternatives!

Credit: winhorse/Getty Images

Muji has just introduced four soy-based faux-meat items: a soy meat hamburger, soy meat meatballs, soybean minced meat, and soybean sliced meat. And all of these items are apparently ready to use right off the shelf, not requiring refrigeration or rehydration. Just add them to your favorite recipe—or even eat them as is. (For the record, that’s Muji’s suggestion, not mine!) According to Fast Company, the approximately $2.75 per pack products are rolling out this month both in Japanese retail locations as well as online. However, probably unsurprisingly, the Muji Japan website currently has all four meatless items listed as “out of stock.”

Meat alternatives have been one of the biggest culinary movements in the last few years, but Muji isn’t simply selling these products on their cool alone. The brand bills them as “environmentally friendly” and even delves into some of the details, reminding customers that “meat demand is projected to rise 1.8 times compared to 2010” and raising enough livestock creates “concerns about environmental destruction.” Yup, Muji has done their research!

Whether these items will ever make it to the States has reportedly yet to be announced. However, again, in the chain’s home country, Muji already offers plenty of other foods like curry and pasta sauce that aren’t available across the Pacific. Long story short: Don’t necessarily get your hopes up that next time you walk into a Muji in the U.S. for pens that you’ll be able to walk out with a hoodie and a plant-based burger.