Alt-protein producer Schouten Europe has reported a significant rise in plant-based fish sales, as the price of conventional fish continues to climb due to the conflict in Ukraine.
“Our customers have been asking whether we can accelerate the development of plant-based alternatives.”
According to Schouten, profitable fishing is “currently no longer possible”, with many fishing boats not setting sail due to the soaring cost of fuel. This has triggered a growing interest in plant-based seafood.
Fish alternatives by Schouten
After producing meat alternatives for three decades, Schouten launched its first alt-seafood product — Vegan Green Tuna — in 2021. This was followed by vegan fish sticks and burgers later in the year, with the company saying the documentary Seaspiracy had created a significant increase in demand. Schouten has also been in communication with several companies in the conventional fish industry who are looking to begin offering vegan alternatives.
Award-winning plant-based fish
Last year, Schouten’s Vegan Green Tuna achieved second place in the Chamber of Commerce Innovation Top 100, earning the company the accolade of the most innovative SME food company in the Netherlands. Schouten’s fish alternatives will soon be presented to the general public for the first time at the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) trade fair in Amsterdam, which will take place from May 31-June 1.
“First of all, the current trigger of the growing demand for plant-based alternatives to fish is certainly not what we had hoped for. As entrepreneurs, we sympathise with all those people in the fishing sector who are being hit hard,” said CEO Henk Schouten. “Our customers have been asking whether we can accelerate the development of plant-based alternatives. This cannot be seen in isolation from the situation in the fishing sector.”