Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Revo Foods Unveils ‘THE KRAKEN’ Plant-Based Octopus Crafted from Fungi Protein

Austrian startup Revo Foods today announces a “culinary innovation” with what it describes as the world’s first plant-based alternative to octopus tentacles, created with fungi protein. When asked as to its production methods, Revo responded that it is “testing a unique new 3D structuring approach” for which further details cannot be revealed as yet.

Branded as “THE KRAKEN – Inspired by Octopus”, the product is ready to eat but can also be grilled, fried, or baked. It can be used to replicate classic octopus-based dishes such as the Spanish Pulpo a la Gallega or Greek Octopus Salad. The mycoprotein tentacles are said to offer an authentic aroma, taste and texture, a Nutriscore A nutritional profile grading, as well as a high omega-3 fatty acid content and a high amount of fibre.

Tapping into what it says is a lack of realistic whole-cut plant-based products, THE KRAKEN, according to Revo Foods, demonstrates the creative potential of new technologies for diverse and high-quality food production.

Niccolo Galizzi, head of foodtech at Revo Foods, comments, “Octopus tentacles, with their intense color and distinct suckers, are a very special product with an exciting look. So far, there has been no realistic alternative on the market. THE KRAKEN has the potential to be a real enrichment for octopus fans!”

Revo Foods launches THE KRAKEN plant based octopus
© Revo Foods

The NPD is based on mycoprotein, a nutrient-rich ingredient that requires significantly less processing compared to common raw ingredients in plant-based alternative products, preserving more micronutrients and vitamins. Due to the natural fibrousness of mycoprotein, it takes less processing to create textures and mouthfeel, says Revo Foods, which also created its famed 3D-printed salmon, the first ever commercially available 3D-printed alternative product, on a mycoprotein base.

Mycoprotein was first brought to the masses by Quorn Foods in the 1980s and has since been harnessed by Schouten in the Netherlands; ENOUGH of the UK; Enifer of Finland; and Mycorena of Sweden, amongst others.

Why octopus?

We spoke with CEO Robin Simsa and asked about the motivation behind a plant-based octopus product. Simsa explains, “It is a very interesting product for which no plant-based alternative exists yet [we checked and found one obscure product available which does not appear to offer realistic properties], and has a very unique texture and structure. Also, it is a speciality in many countries, but an increasing amount of people are aware of the high intelligence and social behaviour of these animals, therefore providing a suitable alternative is important.”

Up to 200,000 tons of octopus are consumed each year in the EU. Documentaries like My Octopus Teacher on Netflix have created more understanding, interest, and empathy for these social animals with three hearts and nine brains, and additionally, last year’s proposed octopus farm in the Canary Islands led to international uproar and increased awareness of these animals’ intelligence.

The raken vegan octopus
© Revo Foods

When asked as to whether Revo avoided terminology such as “vegan octopus” or “plant-based octopus” in a strategic manner following a slew of anti-vegan labelling laws, Simsa responds that the term “Release the Kraken is a pop culture icon, so we wanted to be a bit playful here. In any case, this is a product which has more relevance for food service than for retail, so the naming of this product is not critical as restaurants can put it on the menu in any way they like.”

Essentially, then, this is a food service product, which Revo will test as a limited edition from its webshop to elicit feedback. “We will evaluate it and if positive, consider a wider launch later that year. However, this is most likely a product more of interest for food service in specific countries, as it is a much more specific product compared to salmon or tuna.”

Revo Foods’ unstoppable success

The NPD comes hot off the heels of the startup’s crowdfunding success, during which it has already raised more than 1.1 million euros, as well as its recent victory in court, whereby Vienna City Council brought a lawsuit based on the labelling of its plant-based salmon, based on the absurd claim that the name of the product, “Revo™ Salmon – 100% Plant-Based with Pea Protein”, could mislead consumers into thinking it contained real salmon.

Revo Foods salmon filet on take-out tray
© Revo Foods

The FoodTech startup has been a market leader for fish alternatives in Austria since 2022 and has so far received financing of 7 million EUR. The Revo Crew is an international team of 35 scientists and engineers on a mission to sustainably revolutionize the food industry.

“With a little bit of creativity and technological know-how – and an obsession for seafood, anything is possible. If we continue like this, we can soon offer an entire plant-based seafood paella!” enthuses Robin Simsa, CEO of Revo Foods GmbH.

“THE KRAKEN” is available from March 15th exclusively in the Revo online shop, delivering to most European countries: Austria, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Sweden.

An investment in Revo Foods is possible until April 17th, 2024. Investments in Revo Foods are made through the Germany-based green-tech investment platform FunderNation.eu.

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