Tofu, one of the oldest and most popular meat alternatives in the world, is usually made with soybeans. But with increasing concerns about sustainability, GMOs, and allergies, British startup Peafu has come up with an alternative.
As the name suggests, Peafu is like tofu but made with peas instead — specifically, yellow peas grown in the UK. Unlike conventional tofu, it doesn’t depend on imported soybeans, which are often grown on deforested land.
According to Peafu, these peas are already grown UK-wide, but currently are often used for animal feed because there is no consumer market.
Growing them also has other benefits — the pea root nodules fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, meaning that fewer chemical fertilisers are required.
The demand for tofu is skyrocketing in the UK. Last year, Tofu King opened the UK’s largest dedicated tofu factory due to increasing sales, while The Tofoo Co had to import new machinery from Japan to keep up with demand. But currently, the vast majority of bean curd on the UK market is made with soybeans.
Peafu is currently preparing for its first investment round, where it hopes to raise £150,000. The funding will help it build its profile, develop its brand, and make adjustments to its recipe. It plans to launch in 2022 with three varieties — natural, smoked, and value-added. The startup says it hopes to be making £5m in sales by its fourth year.
“At the heart of Peafu is an ethos to be part of a sustainable, local food system,” the company says on its website.