Investments & Finance

Canada’s New School Foods Raises $12M to Scale Whole-Cut, Raw Plant-Based Salmon

Plant-based seafood producer New School Foods announces it has raised $12M in seed funding for its proprietary, scalable technology that can produce “raw” whole-cut fish alternatives. Beginning in 2023, the company will launch its whole-cut salmon through a chef-only pilot program in North America. 

“Their technology is unlike anything else we’ve seen in the industry”

According to New School, the overall alt-protein industry has not yet fully tackled its greatest opportunity: whole cuts, which represent a majority of meat sales in North America. New School notes that whole cuts involve many complex structural challenges such as texture, connective tissue, muscle fibers, and other macrostructures that exist in animal proteins. 

To resolve this, New School Foods CEO Christopher Bryson invested heavily in academic R&D projects for three years with leading food science universities. Through his work, Bryson identified a scalable platform capable of delivering multiple “firsts” for the meat alternatives industry:

  1. Plant-based Muscle Fibers: Replicates the diameter, length, strength and structure of fish muscle fibers to deliver the same texture & mouthfeel.
  2. Whole-Cut Scaffolding: Filets that combine directionally aligned muscle fibers with plant-based connective tissue, fats, colors, and flavors. 
  3. Raw-to-Cooked: While most plant-based seafood on the market is pre-cooked, New School Foods’ cold-based processing technology creates a filet that starts raw and transforms like fish upon cooking.
  4. Scalable by Design: Unlike many new food processing technologies, New School Foods’ process uses off-the-shelf equipment from adjacent industries, which it says provides a superior ability to scale more globally.
Salmon /Fish Filet
©New School Foods

“Next frontier”

“The next frontier of meat alternatives is whole cuts, and from day one we understood that New School Foods needed to solve two heavily connected issues: the quality of the meat alternatives in-market, and the limited toolkit our industry uses to produce them,” said Chris Bryson, CEO and founder of New School Foods. “What’s generally available for consumers now are rubbery, ground, pre-cooked products that will not convince the average customer to change their lifelong habits.”

Whereas most established production methods, like high-moisture extrusion, use high temperatures to pre-cook the food and denature the proteins, New School Foods says its technology uses a series of cold-based processes. Importantly, these processed yield a product that is “raw” and keeps the cooking experience as close as possible to ordinary salmon.

©New School Foods

Restaurant launch

In 2023, the startup plans to debut its salmon in multiple restaurants through a chef-only pilot program. Chefs interested in joining can apply today at

New School plans to use the $12M funding to expand its team of food scientists, scale its scaffolding technology and build out an R&D facility. The round was led by Lever VC, Blue Horizon, Hatch, Good Startup, Alwyn Capital, Joyance Partners, and included grants from Protein Industry Canada and other agencies. 

Chris Bryson ©New School Foods

“We invested in New School Foods because they recognized that the existing production technologies in the plant-based meat industry are insufficient for creating a whole-cut product that consumers genuinely want to eat,” said Nick Cooney, General Partner at Lever Ventures. “Their technology is unlike anything else we’ve seen in the industry in terms of truly mimicking the texture, mouthfeel, and experience of cooking and eating whole cuts of meat.”

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