Prime Roots makes major commitment to plant-based seafood analogs

Published on
February 3, 2020

Berkeley, California, U.S.A.-based Prime Roots is ramping up production capacity as it plans to roll out a line of plant-based seafood and meat analog products.

Formerly known as Terramino Foods, the supplier said it developed the first plant-based salmon burger in 2018 before it opted to develop a full line of plant-based seafood alternatives that includes shrimp, lobster, and tuna.

It also developing plant-based versions of chicken, beef, and pork – including a bacon alternative.

This month, it opened a 12,000-square-foot facility, and will launch its first meat or seafood analog products in spring of 2020. While it plans to eventually launch several plant-based seafood and meat alternatives, Prime Roots will first roll out just one of its products this spring.

The supplier is empowering its online community of around 10,000 people with “a voice in determining which products the company first launches, and conducted an extensive product voting initiative over the last several months,” Prime Roots Co-Founder Kimberlie Le told SeafoodSource.

“We have been overwhelmed with the enthusiasm we have received, and will be announcing the winning product which we will launch first in about a month when the voting closes,” Le said.

Prime Roots was founded as Terramino in 2017 by Le and Joshua Nixon when both were researchers at UC Berkeley's Alternative Meat Lab. The startup graduated from Indiebio, an accelerator that helps scientists launch companies, and quickly attracted more than USD 4 million (EUR 3.6 million) in investments. Prime Roots is backed by True Ventures, Collaborative Fund, and IndieBio.

"They all bring a lot of wisdom and experience to the table, having many investments in the leading consumer brands in food,” Le said.

Its 12 varieties of meatless and seafood-less products are made from koji super-protein, “an all-natural whole food source of protein that we grow using the age-old process of fermentation (without any funk at all),” Prime Roots said on its website.

Its products are non-GMO, all-natural, high protein, gluten-free, and soy-free, Le said. 

The refrigerated plant-based seafood options the company aims to produce include shrimp, tuna chunks, crab cakes, lobster chunks, and salmon burgers. Other products include plant-based bacon and protein bars.

“All of our products are refrigerated for the best product experience and taste that is most similar to how most people experience meat and seafood,” Le said.

After opening its production facility in January, Prime Roots will be actively increasing its capacity through the coming months, Le said.

The supplier will be shipping products directly to consumers who order it online.

“As a young food brand, we are focused on direct-to-consumer channels at first so that we can grow our community and co-develop and grow with the support of our early adopters and supporters,” Le said.

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