New York-based alternative meat company AKUA has teamed up with business development firm Next In Natural (NeNa) to bring its kelp-based burger to the retail market.
“Harvesting kelp from clean waters as a regenerative carbon-reducing, plant-based superfood is a game-changer.”
AKUA first launched what it claimed to be the first-ever plant-based burger made from kelp in May this year, though it has only been available to purchase online or at a select number of restaurants in the US. The burger is made of ocean-farmed seaweed, crimini mushrooms, pea protein, black beans, quinoa, and crushed tomatoes.
AKUA Founder and CEO Courtney Boyd Myers said the firm was the “ideal partner” to help lead efforts to expand into grocery stores, pointing to NeNa’s experience with iconic brands such as Beyond Meat and Hu Stumptown.
“AKUA works hand-in-hand with New England-based regenerative kelp farms, so we not only focus on creating great tasting food but also supporting an emerging blue-green economy that improves our coastal communities and natural ecosystems,” said Boyd Myers. “With a mission as strong as ours, it is essential for us to work with like-minded and aligned teams like Next in Natural to support our efforts to build a new food ecosystem for a better future.”
Next in Natural CEO Jeff Lichtenstein added: “AKUA is the most transformative and tasty creation I’ve seen since we merged Gourmet Guru with UNFI in 2016. With 2/3 of the world covered by ocean, it is our largest and most untapped resource. Harvesting kelp from clean waters as a regenerative carbon-reducing, plant-based superfood is a game-changer. AKUA offers a delicious and ‘weird-science’ free meat alternative that helps make the world a better place; this is 100% aligned with the mission of Next In Natural. Our team could not be any more amped up to work with AKUA and their kindhearted, forward-thinking team and founder Courtney.“
AKUA is first launching the Kelp Burgers in select locations in New York and LA.