Investments & Finance

Protein Industries Canada Partners with Konscious Foods to Elevate Plant-Based Seafood

Protein Industries Canada has introduced a significant initiative for the Canadian alternative seafood sector with its collaboration with Konscious Foods, Avena Foods, and Canadian Pacifico Seaweeds (CPS). Leveraging the success of Konscious Foods’ frozen and ready-to-eat plant-based sushi, this project aims to enhance the nutritional value of existing plant-based seafood products while also developing novel offerings.

“There is an ever-growing global demand for seafood”

The project has already garnered praise from government officials for its contribution to addressing the global demand for seafood alternatives and bolstering Canada’s position in the plant-based food market. François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry of Canada, stated, “There is an ever-growing global demand for seafood, and this project is helping to meet that demand by offering an alternative plant-based option that expands the range of healthy and sustainable food options available to Canadians.”

Konscious Foods will lead the project, focusing on fortifying and commercializing its existing products while expanding its product range at its state-of-the-art facility in Richmond, British Columbia. Collaborating with specialty miller Avena Foods and sustainable aquaculture company Canadian Pacifico Seaweeds (CPS), Konscious Foods will utilize pulse ingredients and sustainably sourced seaweed to develop superior plant-based products, aiming to enhance their nutritional profiles.

Konscious Foods
© Konscious Foods

Wayne Arsenault, CEO of Avena, commented, “Konscious Foods is known for innovation. Avena is excited to be a partner offering pulse ingredient solutions that will help Konscious to develop innovative plant-based seafood products for this fast-growing market segment.”

The project will introduce new products, including nori snacks using CPS’s sustainably harvested seaweed and plant-based Tamagoyaki, a traditional Japanese rolled omelet made with pulses from Avena Foods. With a total investment of $5.1 million, Protein Industries Canada will contribute up to $2.3 million, with the remainder invested by others in the partnership. Beyond the new products, a portion of the investment will be allocated to improve the nutritional content of existing seafood alternatives. 

Previous investments and involvement

Protein Industries Canada is not new to the alternative seafood industry. After receiving $150 million in federal funding from the Canadian government early last year, the organization initiated several global partnerships in the alt-protein sector, including Innovate UK and Wageningen University & Research (WUR) in The Netherlands. It also launched a $10 million fund to increase the use of AI in plant-based food and allocated $4.5 million towards bringing plant-based whole-muscle salmon to market in partnership with New School Foods, Liven Proteins, and NuWave Research.

Yves Potvin, founder and President of Konscious Foods, expressed gratitude for the partnership with Protein Industries Canada and further noted, “Widespread adoption of plant-based foods is simply impossible if we don’t focus on food that tastes good, is made of healthy high-quality ingredients, and is affordable. Protein Industries Canada is connecting our culinary and technical knowledge with locally sourced, best-in-class ingredient partners to advance our mission of transforming how people eat.”

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