To celebrate the release of long-awaited documentary Seaspiracy, vegconomist takes an in-depth look at the latest news from around the global alt-seafood scene. We highlight the most recent developments and spotlight those in the industry who are working towards a better future for our oceans.
Gathered Foods, makers of Good Catch Plant-Based tuna, this week announced that its online store has expanded to include its frozen entrees and appetizers. Launched last November initially offering the Good Catch range of vegan tuna, the DTC platform will now allow consumers to directly purchase New England Style Plant-Based Crab Cakes, Thai Style Plant-Based Fish Cakes, and Classic Style Plant-Based Fish Burgers, available in mix packs of six, nine and 12 boxes.
Dutch nutrition company DSM has announced the launch of Maxavor® Fish YE – a new vegan, 100% allergen-free flavor solution derived from algal oil, allowing food manufacturers to deliver an authentic fish taste and mouthfeel in a variety of plant-based fish alternative applications, as well as tastes of distinct fish varieties.
Avant, the first cultivated fish company in Asia, has penned a new strategic partnership with QuaCell, an emerging leader in the biopharmaceutical industry in China. The partnership has already made major milestones in commercializing cell-cultivated animal protein including the achievement of a 90% cost reduction.
European seafood chain NORDSEE recently launched two menu items by the fast-growing Dutch plant-based producer, Novish. The products will be available across Germany and Austria with other locations throughout Europe. Novish produces a range of vegan seafood products for global retail and foodservice markets and recently closed a successful funding round.
After the Covid-19 pandemic decimated the foodservice sector, US-based Ocean Hugger has relaunched via a new partnership with Thailand’s Nove Foods. Through its new strategic joint venture, it is preparing for a global launch of an expanded portfolio of plant-based seafood products in late 2021. Also in Thailand, the tuna giant Thai Union, which owns brands including John West and Chicken of the Sea, is to debut a plant-based shrimp this year.
In Germany, Loryma – a specialist in wheat ingredients – has introduced a new concept for trendsetting vegan fish products. It uses functional wheat ingredients to authentically replicate the muscle meat of fish, and provide a typical mouthfeel for vegan cod, salmon, tuna, fish fingers and more. The components are flavour-neutral so are easily adaptable for a range of manufacturers.
The wheat-based fish products consist of two components: With Lory® Stab, a functional mixture, the species-typical muscle tissue of fish meat is reproduced, while a Lory® Bind compound provides inner binding and specific mouthfeel. Firmness can be modified via the content of the bind component. Numerous variations are possible through Loryma’s product range, for example, extruded wheat proteins from the Lory® Tex range replicate the precise texture of tuna
And finally, Wildtype – a US-based startup producing lab-grown salmon – has released details of a new study regarding the naming of meat and seafood grown from cells. After multiple trials, Wildtype advocates for using the name “cell-cultivated.” In the study, it performed best among the terms tested in communicating the source of seafood, while maintaining higher levels of appeal.
Although still emerging and only gaining traction as a serious category since around 2018, this global market shift towards alt-seafood looks set to be the new wave in vegan business. Whether plant-based or cell-cultivated; protecting our oceans, stopping over-fishing, and feeding the world sustainably is why the alt-seafood market is one of the most promising areas of plant-based business.