Products & Launches

Spanish Seafood Producer Aguinamar Partners with Vrave to Launch Vegan Calamari in Major Retailers

In another collaboration between a traditional food company and a food startup, the Spanish seafood producer Angulas Aguinaga Group, via its brand Aguinamar, has partnered with Grin Grin Foods (which recently rebranded to Vrave) to launch its first plant-based product, Aros de Mar, a vegan calamari.

With Aros de Mar, Aguinamar is adding a vegan option to its lineup of easy-to-prepare seafood products, expanding into the growing plant-based seafood category. The new alternative will be available in Carrefour and Alcampo at the end of April.

The product is konjac-based, providing quality and texture to the calamari alternative while offering a good amount of fiber and a few kilocalories. It is suitable for pan frying, baking, or air frying, allowing it to obtain a crunchy and firm texture. Konjac is a popular plant with an edible corm, commonly used to create flour, gels, chips, fiber, and gums. Many companies use it to replicate the texture of tuna, egg, and gelatin. 

The fishmonger section

Angulas Aguinaga is a top player in the refrigerated self-service fishmonger sector, which has popular brands, such as La Gula del Norte and Krissia, specializing in surimi and eel substitute products. The group has a strong presence in hypermarkets like El Corte Inglés-Hipercor and Carrefour and produces private-label brands for retailers. 

Aguinamar, a brand of the Spanish seafood producer Angulas Aguinaga Group, has teamed up with the startup Grin Grin Foods to launch its first "plant-based" product: Vegan Sea Rings.
© Aguinamar

Spain’s seafood industry and sector associations, including Conxemar, have joined forces to denounce “fraud in the labeling and presentation of plant-based seafood products,” arguing that such practices confuse consumers. The coalition called on the Ministry of Consumer Affairs to review and immediately withdraw plant-based seafood products that use fish names on their labels.

It is unfortunate because studies have shown that animal names give consumers orientation on how to prepare an alternative product, how to use it, and what it tastes like instead of confusing consumers. For example, last year’s data from the Smart Protein report on EU plant-based consumers showed that 84% of consumers were familiar with plant-based fish products, 40% of participants already eat plant-based fish, and 22% stated they want more fish alternatives.

Note that Aguinamar’s new vegan product label does not include the word calamari. However, local media reported that it will be found in the fishmonger section, together with the rest of the brand’s seafood products.

Traditional plus innovation

Meanwhile, for Vrave, this product development marks a milestone in the company’s growth. A plant-based specialist startup with top-selling products such as lentil burgers, cheese tequeños, chocolate and mango ice creams, and gyozas, it has attracted investors such as Capsa Vida, Embutidos Martinez, Vicky Food (Dulce Sol), and product partner Angulas Aguinaga.

Vrave shared on social media: “This collaboration combines the best of both worlds: our expertise in food innovation and your reputation for high-quality seafood. Together, we have created a solution that is not only delicious but also aligned with the values of corporate responsibility and sustainability.”

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