Pacifico Biolabs, a Belin-based biotech startup, announced that it raised $3.3 million to make mycelium-based whole-cut alternatives.

© Viktor Strasse


Pacifico Biolabs Secures $3.3M to “Transform Seafood” with Whole Cut Alternatives

Berlin-based biotech startup Pacifico Biolabs emerges from two years in stealth mode with the announcement of a $3.3 million oversubscribed pre-seed round.  With the capital, the startup plans to improve and further scale its “unique” biomass fermentation process to make mycelium-based whole-cut alternatives, starting with seafood. In addition, it will expand its team with key positions, such as a CTO and chief of staff. Simon Capital and FoodLabs led the funding round, joined by Exceptional Ventures and Sprout & About Ventures. Patrick Noller, General Partner at FoodLabs, comments, “We are confident that Pacifico’s technology strongly positions them to transform seafood and beyond, addressing the urgent demands of a changing climate.”  Friedrich Droste, Managing Partner of Simon Capital, shared, “Their innovative technical approach to alternative seafood …


The Good Food Institute has released two white papers that explore the potential of alternative seafood.

© The Good Food Institute

Studies & Numbers

New GFI Alt Seafood Reports: Meeting the Global Demand for Seafood Without Depleting the Oceans

The Good Food Institute (GFI) has released two white papers that delve into the potential of alternative seafood to meet the increasing global seafood demand while achieving the world’s climate and biodiversity goals.  With seafood production projected to grow by 14% from 2020 to 2030, traditional fishing and aquaculture will impact the oceans and the environment severely, threatening biodiversity and marine habitats, argues GFI. However, plant-based and cultivated seafood have the potential to mitigate GHG emissions and also address other global challenges, such as biodiversity loss, nutrition, public health, and food security. GFI’s new research reports shed light on how policymakers, researchers, and ocean advocates can advance alternative seafood. Building climate policy momentum for alternative seafood This white paper explores how plant-based and cultivated seafood …


Cultivated grouper fillet

Cultivated grouper fillet © UMAMI Bioworks

Cultivated Seafood

Japanese Consumers Show Strong Interest in Tasting and Buying Cultivated Seafood, Says Research Study

A research study exploring the opinions of Japanese consumers toward cultivated seafood suggests that attitudes towards this novel food are generally positive, with 70% of participants showing interest in tasting it and 60% expressing willingness to purchase it once it is available.  The study, one of the latest dissertations from the University of Winchester MSc Animal Welfare, Behaviour, Ethics and Law students, investigated the knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intentions of Japanese consumers toward cell-based seafood.  The researchers conducted an online survey with over 100 participants to collect the data. From this sample, a majority said to regularly consume seafood, indicating that its consumption is significant in Japan. Notably, a small percentage stated they would never eat seafood due to veganism. The findings reveal a lack of …


Canadian company Seed to Surf crafts seafood alternatives using whole vegetables.

Image credit: Seed to Surf

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Seafood with Roots: Seed to Surf Crafts Unique Seafood Alternatives from Whole Vegetables

Seed to Surf is a Canadian plant-based seafood company tapping into the nutritional, health, and sustainability benefits of whole vegetables to create ocean delicacies.  Launched in 2022, this vegetable-forward company is introducing a creative and unique approach to crafting alternatives: it prepares and preserves high-quality vegetables into canned seafood products.  With help from culinary experts and food scientists, Seed to Surf has developed and launched two products: Mushroom Snow Crab, made from enoki mushrooms, and Celery Root Smoked Whitefish, made from celeriac root, described as tender, salty, and sweet.  These vegan options for seafood boast a clean label formulation that leverages seaweeds such as kelp and kombu for seasoning and flavoring. Moreover, the vegetables are cooked using retort technology, which helps maintain their texture during …




Meat- and Fish Alternatives

UNLIMEAT to Further Expand its Portfolio With Plant-Based Tuna

UNLIMEAT’s CEO and founder, Keum Chae Min, confirms that the company is preparing for the launch of its new plant-based tuna products, which will be available in three different flavors. The South Korea-based company is most known for its plant-based Pulled Pork and Korean BBQ lines, which are sold in 1,500 Albertsons stores across the US and were recently promoted through an LA Food Truck Tour. In May, the company further announced a partnership with the Korean-Style corn dog shop Two Hands to launch a vegan option containing UNLIMEAT’s vegan sausage. The plant-based meat company has now announced its first step into fish alternatives with a line of plant-based tuna products, as interest in alt seafood continues to rise globally. The new range, said to …


OmniSeafood plant-based range

© OmniFoods

Company News

Green Monday Launches OmniSeafood Dishes and Discounts to Celebrate World Ocean Day

In support of World Ocean Day, Green Monday has partnered with restaurants and supermarkets in Hong Kong to offer OmniSeafood dishes and product discounts for a month. Green Common, the company’s online platform combining retail, distribution, and dining service with stores in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore, will also provide retail deals and dinner options. The initiative aims to encourage consumers to cherish the oceans and protect marine life by switching to plant-based seafood. Green Monday is the operational arm producing and distributing plant-based food products in Asia and beyond, including OmniFoods and Green Common. OmniFoods is a global plant-based food brand retailing in over 20 markets. Its Canadian-based R&D team is responsible for the company’s plant-based series: OmniPork, OmniSeafood, and OmniEat.   Switching to OmniSeafood  The OmniSeafood …


Marissa Bronfman Profile Photo

Image supplied


Op Ed: Marissa Bronfman On Women Leading the Way in Alt Seafood

Marissa Bronfman is a serial entrepreneur, speaker, and business advisor to food founders and impact investors. She is passionate about helping people build, grow, support, and invest in woman-owned and plant-based businesses and is excited to be helping accelerate the alternative seafood space.   Inspired and encouraged by the number of women leading in the space, Marissa believes “there’s never been a better time to start, scale, or invest in a vegan seafood company”.   Alternative Seafood: A New Wave of Opportunity Led by Women By Marissa Bronfman It’s a hugely exciting time for seafood analogs, a relatively small but fast-growing category of alternative protein, with many new companies and technological developments being led by women from around the world. At a time when our …


Canadian biotech company Smallwood announces a new manufacturing plant for its vegan seafood ingredient

© Smallfood


Smallfood Sets Out to Transform Alt Seafood Market After Discovering Wild Microalgae Strain

Microbial food company Smallfood will soon open a manufacturing plant for the production and scale up of its novel marine whole food, vegan and GMO-free ingredient for the alt seafood market. At the new facility in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the company will built its fermentation line and establish its biomanufacturing process. After ten years and $20 million in research evaluating over 20,000 microbes, Smallfood discovered a wild microalgae strain capable of producing premium proteins through biomass fermentation.  “Because our microbe comes from the sea, our products are licensed as seafood,” commented Marc St-Onge, founder and CEO of Smallfood, in conversation with vegconomist. The ultimate sustainable solution The company’s end-product is premium protein with a natural seafood flavor that can be used for multiple applications. It offers an …


Allen Zelden, founder of Boldly, image supplied


Boldly: “It’s Clear That the Future Will Either Be Filled With Fishless Fish or Fishless Oceans”

APAC expert and co-founder of alt-protein accelerator PlantForm, Allen Zelden, revealed his new vegan seafood brand Boldly this January, offering an impressive line of vegan prawns, salmon and tuna sashimi, calamari, shrimp, crab sticks, white fish filets and more. Allen has been keeping details of the brand and future plans under his hat since the launch; it was time we sat down and gave him a vegan seafood grilling. Firstly congratulations on the launch of Boldly! Can you give us your elevator pitch; what was the inspiration behind starting a vegan seafood brand? If I’m being brutally honest, I just felt it was time to disrupt the plant-based sea of sameness with an all-new, positive and fun experience, and what better way to do this …


Aqua Cultured Foods closed a $5.5 million seed Round to launch its seafood alternatives

© Aqua Cultured Foods

Investments & Finance

Aqua Cultured Foods Raises $5.5M to Bring Ultra-Realistic Alt Seafood to Market

As it begins consumer tastings of its products in Chicago today, Aqua Cultured Foods announces it has raised $5.5 million in seed funding to bring its ultra-realistic alt seafood to market through chef partners and food service distributors. This new capital brings Aqua’s total funding to $7.6 million. Using a proprietary mycoprotein fermentation process, Aqua develops calamari, shrimp, scallops, tuna, and whitefish alternatives. Its animal and GMO-free products contain natural fiber, protein, and micronutrients and will be available in pieces or minced for its future go-to-market Asian food partners. Mission-aligned partners “We appreciate having mission-aligned partners that offer strong strategic value for the next phase of our growth, which will involve building up the business and brand,” said Anne Palermo, CEO of Aqua Cultured. The round …


Vegan Salmon Burger

©The ISH Company

Products & Launches

The ISH Company Introduces Salmonish Burgers to “Exceed Consumer Expectations” for Sustainable Seafood Protein

Alt seafood startup The ISH Company announces it is launching Salmonish™, a new plant-based salmon burger that is made to offer a cleaner, more sustainable alternative to conventional seafood. Made with regenerative ingredients like kelp, Salmonish Burgers will be available to food service through North America’s largest food redistributor, Dot Foods. Salmonish Burgers marks ISH Food’s third product release, following its successful launch of plant-based shrimp products Shrimpish® and Shrimpish® Crumbles into US food service last year. Similar to Shrimpish, ISH states the new salmon burgers are made with 100% plant-based ingredients. Each serving provides 14 grams of protein and 300 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, while offering a convenient and easy-to-prepare product for consumers, says the brand.  To create the burgers, ISH says its team …


Vegan Scallops / Vegan Seafood

© The Plant Based Seafood Co.

Products & Launches

The Plant Based Seafood Co. Unveils ‘First-of-Its-Kind’ Mind Blown Shelf-Stable Sea Scallops

The Plant Based Seafood Co. announces the launch of Mind Blown™ Shelf-Stable Sea Scallops, its first shelf-stable alt-seafood product. Described as a first-of-its-kind creation, the new plant-based scallops will launch on the company’s website beginning March 29th.  According to the brand, the Mind Blown Sea Scallops feature a long shelf life with no need for freezing or refrigeration. Made entirely from plants, the Sea Scallops reportedly taste just like real scallops and can be used in a wide range of recipes.  The product debuted at Plant Based World Expo in 2022 during a cooking demonstration with celebrity chef and Mind Blown investor Spike Mendelsohn. The company reports the response at the event “far exceeded” its expectations. In February 2023, the Shelf Stable Sea Scallops also …


Tuna/ Poke Bowl

©Aqua Cultured Foods

Food & Beverage

Aqua Cultured Foods to Begin First Public Tastings of Alt-Tuna, Shrimp and Scallops

US food tech startup Aqua Cultured Foods announces it will begin consumer tastings of its seafood alternatives in Chicago, ahead of its public launch through chef partners and foodservice distributors.   Beginning April 6, the startup will hold tastings of several alt-seafood products, including Aqua tuna rolls, shrimp dumplings and scallop crudo, at its headquarters in West Loop, Chicago. According to Aqua, it intends to solicit feedback from participants on the products’ quality compared to conventional seafood products, especially texture.  Unique fermentation Founded in 2020, Aqua is developing a range of seafood alternatives, including whitefish, shrimp, scallops and tuna filets, with mycoprotein fermentation technology. Using a unique strain of fungi, the company says it is able to transform plant-based ingredients into realistic seafood alternatives that offer …


Plant-Based Raw Tuna in Bowl

© Impact Foods/ Onigilly

Products & Launches

Impact Food Debuts Sushi-Grade, Raw Plant-Based Tuna at Onigilly Restaurants in San Francisco

Alt seafood startup Impact Food announces its plant-based, sushi-grade tuna will soon be available at all three locations of Onigilly, a Bay Area Japanese eatery. Starting March 15, Onigilly will be serving Impact’s whole-cut, raw tuna in their Onigilly Rice Balls and Poke Bowls. Following this soft launch, Impact says it plans to officially roll out its tuna product across the US in 2023.  In March, Onigilly restaurants in San Francisco, Palo Alto and San Mateo will debut Impact Tuna as a fifth protein option, alongside traditional tuna, salmon, shrimp and tofu. Made with nine ingredients, including pea protein, algae and vegetable juice, Impact Tuna is said to be high in Omega-3 fatty acids, low in calories and completely free from cholesterol and mercury.  “We’re …


plant based seafood

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Japanese Ham Manufacturer Develops Plant-Based Seafood Ahead of Global Food Crisis

Japanese Ham Manufacturer NH Foods (日本ハム株式会社), known as Nippon Ham, has developed two plant-based seafood products — fish fries and popcorn shrimp. The Japanese firm, preparing for a shortage of marine resources that could trigger a global food crisis, spent a year developing the alt products using soy protein, seaweed extracts, and other vegetable ingredients to recreate seafood’s texture and flavours, reports Euronews, adding that the products will launch in March 2023. Founded in 1949, Nippon Ham is a global firm with companies worldwide, including China and the US. The company began with the manufacturing of hams and sausage products. Over the years, it has expanded from being Japan’s biggest protein supplier to developing products such as non-allergenic foods and plant-based alternatives. Its products encompass fresh …


Plant-based Salmon Filet

©New School Foods

Investments & Finance

Canada’s New School Foods Raises $12M to Scale Whole-Cut, Raw Plant-Based Salmon

Plant-based seafood producer New School Foods announces it has raised $12M in seed funding for its proprietary, scalable technology that can produce “raw” whole-cut fish alternatives. Beginning in 2023, the company will launch its whole-cut salmon through a chef-only pilot program in North America.  According to New School, the overall alt-protein industry has not yet fully tackled its greatest opportunity: whole cuts, which represent a majority of meat sales in North America. New School notes that whole cuts involve many complex structural challenges such as texture, connective tissue, muscle fibers, and other macrostructures that exist in animal proteins.  To resolve this, New School Foods CEO Christopher Bryson invested heavily in academic R&D projects for three years with leading food science universities. Through his work, Bryson …


Plant-Based Fried Shrimp

©The ISH Company

Investments & Finance

The ISH Company Raises Over $5M in Oversubscribed Round to Accelerate Plant-Based Shrimp and More

Alt-seafood startup The ISH Company announces it has raised more than $5 million in seed funding to accelerate growth and development of its plant-based seafood products. The oversubscribed round was led by ACCELR8, with participation from Stray Dog Capital, and multiple angel investors. The funds will primarily be used to propel the company’s market launch, create more innovative products, and lay the groundwork for future partnerships.  ISH, whose name stands for Innovative, Sustainable, and Healthy, produces a range of plant-based seafood made from natural ingredients such as green coconuts and algae. Its flagship product, Shrimpish®, is a premium, more sustainable alternative to shrimp that launched in select US restaurants, colleges, and universities in early 2022.  “The plant-based market has seen incredible growth over the past …


Boldly Fish


Products & Launches

Aiming to Disrupt Global Seafood, Boldly Debuts With Plant-Based Calamari, Sashimi, Crab Sticks and More

Boldly, a new plant-based foods brand, announces the upcoming launch of its 100% vegan seafood line, featuring salmon and tuna sashimi, calamari, shrimp, crab sticks, and white fish filets. The range will initially launch through US restaurant and food service partnerships in Summer 2023.  Bringing diversity Created to disrupt the $600Bn global seafood industry, Boldly states its products use cutting-edge innovation to deliver the same taste and texture as animal-based seafood.  As the public becomes more aware of the dire threats facing the world’s oceans, such as overfishing, plastic pollution, and heavy metal contamination, more consumers than ever are looking to balance their seafood intake with plant-based alternatives. Boldly’s new seafood line, which features konjac root as a core ingredient, is intended to create a …


bluu seafood cultivated salmon served on a black plate with lemon rinds

Bluu Seafood's cultivated sashimi © Bluu GmbH/Wim Jansen

Fairs & Events

GFI to Host Fish Cell Culture Workshop for Scientists to Focus on Rapid Advancement of Sector

Alternatives to fish and seafood, providing consumers with nutritious options that do not come from our vastly over-fished seas, witnessed a huge increase throughout 2022 both in demand and in interest from investors. Producers of cultivated fish and seafood are operating in all corners of the planet, with many stating they are ready for market launch pending regulatory approval. Some of the biggest names successfully producing cell-cultivated fish and seafood include: Wildtype – San Francisco USA Bluu Seafood (previously Bluu Biosciences) – Germany BlueNalu – San Diego Umami Meats – Singapore Shiok – Singapore Avant – China Addressing key challenges in cellular seafood In order to address key challenges facing the advancement of the alternative protein industry, The Good Food Institute is hosting a series …


cultivated fish range

© Umami Meats

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Steakholder Foods Receives First Grant to Develop Cultivated Eel and Grouper with Umami Meats

Israel-based Steakholder Foods (Nasdaq: STKH) announces it has received its first grant of up to $1M to develop 3D-printed structured eel and grouper products with cultivated seafood startup Umami Meats.  The initiative is being funded by a grant from the Singapore Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (SIIRD), a cooperation between – Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA). According to Steakholder, the partnership with Umami Meats offers a unique opportunity for market entry in Singapore, the only country where cultivated meat has regulatory approval. The collaboration seeks to develop a scalable process for producing structured cultivated fish products. To create the fish, Steakholder will use newly developed technology for mimicking the flaky texture of cooked fish, which the startup recently submitted for a provisional …