Vegan Seafood Is About To Become Big Business – And Not A Moment Too Soon
If the current growth of the plant-based foods and drinks sector is anything to go buy, the future for innovators, as well as our oceans, could well be rosy. Recent data compiled by Nielsen on behalf of the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) shows that plant-based foods’ dollar sales grew by 20% over the past year in the retail sector, for a total of $3.3 billion. With overall food sales growth at only 2%, PBFA says this means plant-based foods’ growth is outpacing all other retail food sales by 10x.
And while still in its infancy, particularly compared with the proliferation of plant-based burgers, sausages and other alternatives to land animal products on the market, the vegan seafood category is ripe for exponential growth and we can expect to see even more players entering the market. Just last month, 23-year-old Kimberlie Le received $100,000 from billionaire investor Peter Thiel’s fellowship program, in addition to a previous $250,000 seed injection from IndieBio, to develop her company Terramino’s vegan salmon burgers. Meanwhile traditional plant-based food brands are starting to add fish alternatives to their range: UK-based V-Bites’ fish steaks were recently addedto the menu of nearly 150 outlets of the Greene King Flaming Grill pub chain as part of a vegan fish and chips meal.
Kerr, who serves as Good Catch’s CEO and chairman, is certainly optimistic about the growth of the plant-based seafood industry. “With such a wide variety of seafood we can use myriad plant-based culinary innovation techniques to give us an amazing seafood experience without the collateral damage of our current system,” he says. “We see this as an outsized economic opportunity, with massive potential for global impact. It’s arguably the single best use of our investment dollars and an area in which we’re very excited to be the tip of the proverbial harpoon – one pointing to plants as the best solution. It’s a win for consumers, entrepreneurs, our eco-system – and for the fishes.”