BLUU Seafood opens Germany-based pilot plant; Ordinary Seafood ceases operations

Plant-based fish sticks from BLUU Seafood
Plant-based fish sticks from BLUU Seafood | Photo courtesy of BLUU Seafood
6 Min

SeafoodSource is closely following the plant-based and cell-based seafood alternatives market by compiling a regular round-up of updates from the sector.

- Berlin, Germany-based BLUU Seafood, which specializes in cell-cultivated seafood products, opened its first pilot plant in Europe. 

The plant, located in the Hamburg neighborhood of Altona, contains 2,000 square meters of customized research, production, and office space.

BLUU Seafood cultivates muscle, fat, and connective tissue cells from Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout, and the new facility will allow for increased development opportunities, the company said in a release. 

"With the facilities at our new site, we are laying the foundations to supply the first markets. In Hamburg, we have the ideal conditions to continue to grow and continuously reduce production costs," BLUU Seafood CEO Sebastian Rakers said in a release. “At present, the cost of producing cultivated fish is still higher than the average price of wild and farmed fish, but this will gradually change as capacity increases. If the scalability and market conditions are favorable, we will be able to offer cultivated fish at wholesale fish prices in as little as three years. The new site is an important building block in this development."

- Potsdam, Germany-based Ordinary Seafood has ceased operations.

The company, which was founded in May 2022 and focuses on plant-based products, launched two award-winning products: Ordinary Tuna and Smoky Salmon. The products sold at Germany-based Metro locations in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, and Stuttgart. 

Despite incredible customer feedback and traction, the funding landscape has dramatically changed. As a result, we have had to make the incredibly difficult decision to wind down operations and let go of our outstanding team,” Ordinary Seafood CEO and Founder Anton Pluschke wrote on LinkedIn.

- The Plant-Based Seafood Co., headquartered in Gwynn’s Island, Virginia, U.S.A., has announced a partnership between its Mind Blown brand of products and U.S. supermarket chain Wegmans. 

Beginning in May, customers in the U.S. states of Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, as well as in Washington, D.C., can purchase Mind Blown’s Plant-Based Crab Cakes and Dusted Scallops, according to Vegconomist.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Wegmans to bring our Mind Blown plant-based seafood products to even more consumers. With Wegmans’ reputation for quality and customer service, we’re confident that our products will be well-received,” The Plant-Based Seafood Co. CEO Monica Talbert said. 

- Tel Aviv, Israel-based seafood company EFISHient Protein announced the completion of development for its tilapia cell line of products within its tilapia analog portfolio.

"We are thrilled to lead the way in revolutionizing the global fish products industry. Completing the Tilapia cell line development showcases our dedication to accelerating sustainable protein solutions, ensuring future generations can enjoy nutritious and ethical fish products,” EFISHient Protein CEO Dana Levin said. 

EFISHient Protein aims to establish a genetic cell bank to produce future seafood analogs of varying species. The company is a collaboration between BioMeat FoodTech and the Volcani Institute and is working to develop raw, cell-based materials for fish cutlets, fingers, balls, and fillets.

- Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada-based seafood company Konscious Foods, which specializes in plant-based products, has been recognized with multiple awards.

The company won the 2024 Nexty Award For Best Meat Alternative at Expo West, the 2024 VegNews Best New Vegan Product Award at Expo West, the 2024 FABI Award from The National Restaurant Association, and the 2024 Delicious Living Magazine's Best Frozen/Refrigerated Food Award. 

"Konscious Foods has quickly risen to the forefront of the plant-based food movement since launching at Expo West last year, going from a standstill to being available at over 4,500 locations nationwide,” Konscious Foods President and Founder Yves Potvin said in a release. "We are excited to further expand the delicious, nutritious options consumers can try.”

Its plant-based sushi product line includes Smoked Salmon, Kimbap Korean Veggie Rice Rolls, and Salmon Avocado Rolls. It also offers plant-based poke bowls made using konjac plant, cucumber, avocado, tomato, and carrot; whole grains such as sushi rice, jasberry rice, and organic red quinoa, pea fiber, and legumes.

"We have applied our learnings from creating sushi, onigiri, and poke to now add this line of new and creative options that can help people incorporate more vegetables into their diet without sacrificing flavor. We know the barriers to entry for plant-based food are taste, texture, price, and convenience," Potvin said. "Our ongoing mission at Konscious Foods is to make eating our foods an easy choice – whether someone is vegan, plant-curious, or just interested in trying something new. We believe the future of food is better-for-you, better-for-the-world options." 

- Rehovot, Israel-based cultivated meat and seafood company Steakholder Foods released its annual business update for 2023. The report shows advancements in both the company's technological sector and its market presence.

Steakholder Foods launched its SHMeat and SHFish products, which include 3D-printed beef, chicken, and salmon, in an attempt to expand its analog offerings. It also offers cell-cultivated eel, shrimp, and whitefish analogs.

"As we reflect on the accomplishments of this year, I'm incredibly proud of our team's dedication and the milestones we've achieved together,” Steakholder Foods CEO Arik Kaufman said in a release.

Steakholder Foods has also signed a deal with Israel-based tofu producer Wyler Farm to install a commercial 3D meat printer, projecting production through the partnership of plant-based beef steaks totaling up to 500 kilograms per hour. The Israeli prime minister has visited the company, and Steakholder has also received grants and approvals, including from the Singapore-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (SIIRD) and consultants for international market penetration.

From forging strategic partnerships to securing substantial funding and making groundbreaking advancements in technology and intellectual property, 2023 has been a year of immense progress for Steakholder Foods. I'm excited about the future possibilities and confident in our continued success as we lead the way in alternative meat and fish production,” Kaufman said.

- Irura, Spain-based seafood company Angulas Aguinaga announced the launch of a calamari analog in partnership with startup company Vrave.

The company will first launch the product in Spain under Angulas Aguinaga’s Aguinamar brand, according to Just Food.

“This collaboration combines the best of both worlds: our expertise in food innovation and their reputation for high-quality seafood,” Vrave wrote on LinkedIn. “Together, we have created a solution that is not only delicious but also aligned with the values of corporate responsibility and sustainability.”

- Japanese seafood company Ibiden Bussan Co.’s animal-free shrimp was recognized as a Top 5 Trend winner at the 2024 Winter Fancy Food Show, which took place in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A., from 21 to 23 January. 

"The Winter Fancy Food Show gave participants an advance look at the year ahead in specialty foods. Trends at [the show] included comfort foods from around the globe prepared using plants rather than animal-based ingredients; fruits as part of a snacking occasion and a prevalence of the Japanese citrus fruit yuzu, in particular; and elevated takes on classic favorites," Specialty Food Association President Bill Lynch said in a release.

- Berkeley, California U.S.A.-based cell-cultivated meat company UPSIDE Foods has issued a statement contesting a ban on cultivated foods that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed on 1 May.

“Two bills have been introduced that could significantly impact the availability of cultivated meat within the state – going so far as to criminalize the production, sale, or consumption of cultivated meat,” the company said in a release.

According to The New York Times, Florida’s ban would punish anyone who makes or sells lab-grown meat with up to 60 days in jail, and a half-dozen other states have considered measures this legislative session to restrict the sale of meat grown in a laboratory.

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