European fast-food operator invests in plant-based seafood analog supplier

Funding from the QSR Platform (Kharis Capital), which controls 1,000 quick-service restaurants across Europe, will allow plant-based seafood analog maker Novish to expand rapidly in restaurants.

The strategic investment from Kharis Capital, which operates Burger King, Quick, O’Tacos, and Norse locations in seven countries, will accelerate the rollout of Novish’s line of plant-based fish analog products across QSRP subsidiaries NORDSEE, a European seafood chain, and its sister-brand Go! Fish, the restaurant operator said in a press release.

“The QSRP, NORDSEE, and Novish teams have been working very closely to develop and fine-tune plant-based fish products suitable for our customers in our existing restaurants,” QSRP said. “[It] will provide NORDSEE and Go! Fish by NORDSEE the valuable opportunity of reaching next level competitive advantage.”

Novish CEO Maiko van der Meer, who formerly headed Dutch shrimp firm Klaas Puul, told SeafoodSource the company’s potential has been apparent from the start.

“During its first full year, it became clear very quickly the opportunities for Novish are significant,” van der Meer said. “The market for plant-based products is growing rapidly and it is only just starting for seafood alternatives. Therefore, it was necessary to seek investment in order to fully capitalize on these opportunities.”

Breda, the Netherlands-based Novish develops, produces, and commercializes plant based seafood analog products for the global retail and foodservice markets. Its current range includes plant-based fish burgers, bites/nuggets, filets, and sticks/fingers, and tuna flakes.

Made primarily from wheat protein, pea protein, oat fiber, and sunflower oil, the products are vegan, soy-free, and GMO-free. Van der Meer said the company plans to add more plant-based seafood alternatives this year.

In related news, San Diego, California, U.S.A.-based Atlantic Natural Foods, which owns the plant-based Loma Linda and TUNO brands, said it will defend its TUNO trademark in Europe. The company issued its statement after Giessen, The Netherlands-based plant-based food supplier Schouten Europe B.V. said it is launching a plant-based tuna analog called TuNo in Europe.

"Although we encourage new and creative product-creation in the plant-based world, the claim by the Dutch company Schouten B.V. has clearly infringed on our rights and mission and has created confusion in the marketplace,” Atlantic Natural Foods Chairman J. Douglas Hines said in a press release.

The company has retained European/Dutch counsel “to advance our rights before the Hague if required, though we hope this is not necessary. Although we are based in North America, our partners in London and Europe are a critical part of the brand's dedicated future and have a material effect of this announcement,” Hines said.

TUNO products are sold throughout Europe, North America, and Australia, in both retail and catering applications.

Photo courtesy of Novish


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