While plant-based beef held center stage in 2020, vegan-friendly seafood appears to be waiting in the wings for its big moment.
Veganism is as popular as ever, according to Google data showing vegan-related searches were up 47% in 2020. The movement is also almost twice as popular as it was just five years ago, reported Chef’s Pencil.
And as more people turn to the vegan lifestyle, plant-based seafood is poised for growth.
NEW WAVE FOODS
Manufacturer of 100% plant-based shellfish products New Wave Foods recently completed an $18 million series A financing round. The company will initially focus on selling its plant-based shrimp, which is made of sustainable seaweed and plant proteins, to restaurants and foodservice locations.
Shrimp is the most consumed seafood in the U.S. with Americans eating an estimated 1.5 billion pounds annually—twice as much as salmon or tuna—with 80% consumed at foodservice locations.
“Our focus is on offering customers a new, innovative, plant-based shellfish, beginning with the introduction of our plant-based shrimp. Along with a delicious tasting product, we aim to address the environmental issues that come with shrimp farming and overfishing,” said New Wave Foods CEO Mary McGovern in a press release.
The company also plans to expand into plant-based lobster, scallops, and crab following the rollout of its shrimp product.
Swedish plant-based seafood manufacturer Hooked Foods has also secured funding of about $600,000 ahead of the rollout of its vegan tuna, reported The Spoon (Dec. 16, 2020).
“Toona” is made from ingredients including soybeans, sunflower oil, and algae. The product also contains a high protein content with Omega 3 fatty acids. It will be available in major Swedish restaurant chains in the spring.
Google data also found that Sweden is one of the top vegan countries, so Toona will likely resonate with consumers. Following an initial launch in Sweden, the company plans to expand globally later this year.