Plant-based supplier New Wave Foods nabs USD 18 million investment
U.S. plant-based shellfish analog producer New Wave Foods has nabbed USD 18 million (EUR 14.6 million) in investments, allowing it to scale up production of its plant-based shrimp and other products.
In its recent Series A financing round, the New York City-based company netted funding from Tyson Ventures – the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods, Inc. – which first invested in the company In 2019, along with New Enterprise Associates and Evolution VC Partners.
For now, the company is focusing on providing its plant-based shrimp analog to the foodservice industry, and plans to expand to plant-based lobster, scallops, and crab analog products.
The financing enables New Wave to “scale up production, aggressively expand its sales and marketing efforts, accelerate the company's plans for future products, and further build its strong team,” New Wave said in a press release.
In conjunction with the investment, NEA General Partner Liza Landsman will join the New Wave's board of directors. The company is led by CEO Mary McGovern, who was part of launching plant-based seafood analog manufacturer Ocean Hugger Foods.
"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,” McGovern said.
New Wave Foods' proprietary shrimp analog product has resulted from years of “close collaboration between top-tier chefs and renowned R&D experts,” the company said. “The result is a plant-based shrimp that is virtually indistinguishable from ocean shrimp in terms of taste and texture.”
Restaurants and other foodservice outlets are the target market for the plant-based shrimp since around 80 percent of shrimp is consumed in foodservice, according to New Wave.
In an email to SeafoodSource, McGovern said New Wave Shrimp will begin to appear on menus "in the back half of the year" and that the company believes the foodservice sector remains a viable target market.
"We are engaging with innovative companies who have thrived during the pandemic and are looking for more plant-based food options to meet consumer interest," McGovern said. "We firmly believe that the restaurant and foodservice industry will rebound in the back half of the year, as consumers tire of cooking at home and return to restaurants to dine with friends, and work campuses and universities will start to welcome back employees and students."
Photo courtesy of New Wave Foods