Dutch meat alternatives company Schouten Europe has added a “fishless burger” to its range of plant-based seafood products. The burger is made with rice and wheat.
Schouten says it has already received significant interest from companies in the fish industry, many of whom are looking to offer plant-based options to meet changing customer demands.
“We regularly speak with large parties from the fish industry, who are quite interested in our products as well as the developments in the field of plant-based fish,” said Schouten’s Commercial Director Arjaan van der Giessen. “Many of these companies want to offer plant-based options but do not know how to go about it.”
The burger will be available to Schouten’s customers worldwide, including those in retail, out-of-home, and food industry channels.
This isn’t the first time Schouten has launched vegan fish products. In January, the company introduced a plant-based tuna alternative that it said aimed to protect endangered tuna species from extinction. Following a huge surge in demand for plant-based fish after the release of the documentary Seaspiracy, it also launched vegan fish sticks. But the company says fish alternatives have different challenges to those involved in making alt-meat products.
“Different techniques are involved because the texture of fish is quite different from that of meat,” said Schouten’s R&D Manager Anke van Eijk. “We are getting better and better at mimicking this particular texture. Of course, the recognisable fish taste is also quite important. If these aspects are not correct, consumers are unlikely to make the structural switch to plant-based fish.”