New Wave Foods begins offering plant-based shrimp analog to foodservice customers

After garnering USD 18 million (EUR 15 million) in funding earlier this year, New Wave Foods is officially launching its plant-based shrimp analog to North American restaurants and foodservice outlets.

The New York City-based company netted the Series A 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. On Tuesday, 30 March, it announced it has signed a non-exclusive strategic distribution agreement with Dot Foods, the largest foodservice industry redistributor in North America.

"Given Dot Food's vast foodservice distribution coverage, this partnership provides New Wave Foods with immediate national availability while demonstrating Dot's belief in the growth of plant-based eating and New Wave's product offering,” New Wave CEO Mary McGovern said.

Restaurant chains and commercial foodservice locations across the U.S. will be able to carry the plant-based shrimp analog later this year, McGovern told SeafoodSource. While New Wave will not be providing the product directly to consumers at grocery stores, it will be available in retailers’ foodservice and deli departments, according to McGovern.

New Wave plans line extensions for the New Wave Shrimp this year. It will add other plant-based shellfish in 2022, including lobster, scallops, and crab.

The proprietary plant-based shrimp analog product is made with sustainable seaweed and plant proteins and is “virtually indistinguishable” from ocean shrimp in terms of taste, texture, and bite, according to New Wave. Dot Foods Director of Natural and Specialty Rodd Willis said it’s a “great plant-based alternative to ocean shrimp as an ingredient and…delivers on the needs of foodservice operators for menu versatility and quality.”

The plant-based shrimp analog provides a one-for-one swap for ocean shrimp as an ingredient in any hot shrimp dish on menus. The pre-cooked product can be used in dishes such as bruschetta, nachos, chowder, tacos, pasta, and Kung Pao, Willis said.

"We know that commercial and non-commercial foodservice operators need to continue to excite their guests with innovative food products, and plant-based food is the largest growing segment," Willis said.

The market for alternative proteins is expected to reach at least USD 290 billion (EUR 248 billion) by 2035, according to a new report from Boston Consulting Group and Blue Horizon Group.

The organization said in a press release that consumers are driving the "unparalleled" growth in plant-based, animal cell-based, and microorganism-based protein alternatives to meat, dairy, eggs, and seafood.

BCG and BHG estimate that the market for alternative proteins will make up 11 percent of the overall protein market by 2035.

Photo courtesy of New Wave Foods


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