Armored Fresh, a Food Tech Innovator, Chooses Fairfax County for Exponential Growth

As the home of more than 10,000 technology-based companies in many industries, Fairfax County was the ideal place to establish the U.S. headquarters for South Korea-based Armored Fresh, a food tech dairy company, according to Andrew Yu, vice president of Armored Fresh.

Armored Fresh produces and sells 100 percent plant-based cheese as part of their focus on developing sustainable alternative food options. Armored Fresh’s technology uniquely provides the capacity to replicate the aroma, texture and flavor of dairy cheese, according to the company.

Yu sat down with the FCEDA to tell us about the company, its products, expansion plans, and why it is great to have its U.S. headquarters in Tysons, Virginia.

FCEDA: Please tell us what the company does.

Andrew Yu: Armored Fresh is a plant based alternative dairy company. We make zero dairy cheese using oat milk and almond milk.

FCEDA: When and where was the company founded?

Andrew Yu: Armored Fresh was founded in 2001 in South Korea. We opened our Tysons office in Fairfax County in December 2022.

FCEDAWhy is Fairfax County a great place for the USA?

Andrew Yu: Fairfax County is unique in that it sits at the crossroads of business, investment, technology and government. In Fairfax County there are both small business startups and mature companies. Here we rival Silicon Valley in the technology that’s being developed. You have angel investors, a community of venture capitalists, which is very important for us. And you have government assets here that’s useful for us in terms of policy and governance. And so, for Armored Fresh, we look at all those different elements. And we say those elements are important for our growth and for our future success. That’s why we chose Fairfax County as the jurisdiction to have our headquarters.

FCEDA: Why is this an attractive location for other Korean companies?

Andrew Yu: For Korean companies, and generally any company, for that matter, it’s important to look at all those things, and not just one element. Yes, maybe Silicon Valley has certain advantages, and perhaps New York has certain other advantages, but nowhere else that I can think of in the United States has all those different assets – all working in unison to help businesses become successful.

FCEDA: Did you work with the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to set up or expand at this particular location?

Andrew Yu: We worked very closely with Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) and Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP). The resources at FCEDA and VEDP are a bit of a “hidden gem,” if you will, with so many different services. They’re knowledgeable about the business environment, and their network of people in the business community is second to none. We look at FCEDA and VEDP as very important partners and resources as we look to continue to grow in Fairfax County, in Virginia, in the United States, and globally.

FCEDA: Tell us about the innovative technologies that are utilized in production process.

Andrew Yu: Armored Fresh utilizes many technologies and unique processes and proprietary processes in our research and development, in our product development, and our manufacturing. One that’s relevant for consumers is the technology that we use in developing our key mix. This is the product that goes into our manufacturing that helps our product, our cheese, taste and melt, and basically mimic, the dairy cheese that people come to expect, with the smoothness, the taste and texture, the melt ability. That is one technology that is unique for us and which helps us to produce a good product to bring our consumers.

FCEDA: Where is Armored Fresh cheese available?

Andrew Yu: Armored Fresh cheese is available in about 2,000 grocery stores across the United States. In addition to Kroger, there are numerous regional retailers throughout the United States that carry Armored Fresh cheese. From a foodservice perspective, we’re in about 100 or so foodservice outlets — and growing.

FCEDA: Where do you produce the cheese and what is the function of this U.S. headquarters office?

Andrew Yu: Our R&D and culinary team and manufacturing operations are based in South Korea, and we ship the cheese over to the United States. We have a warehouse in Pennsylvania and we distribute nationwide.

The team that we have here in Tysons for Armored Fresh is the tip of the spear, if you will. We are the front customer facing. We do sales and business development here in Tysons.

FCEDA: Is Armored Fresh currently hiring for the Tysons location?

Andrew Yu: We’re always looking for good people, so we’re always hiring. Here in Northern Virginia, we are hiring for positions in sales, business development and marketing.

Find out more about Armored Fresh by visiting