Interest in cell-cultivated seafood growing in Japan; Plant-based alternatives predicted to be top 2024 food trend

healthy poke staff Madrid

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

- The Speciality Food Association (SFA) has predicted plant-based foods will continue to be a top food and beverage trend in 2024. The plant-based foods sector is now worth USD 194 billion (EUR 182 billion) annually, according to Vegconomist.

“Maximizing pleasure and minimizing stress […] encapsulates the panel’s picks for 2024,” SFA Vice President of Resource Development Denise Purcell said. “Maximizing pleasure – in the forms of simple ingredients to global flavors to upscaling the every day – and minimizing stress, whether that means slowing down, seeking convenience or value, helping to address environmental worries, or finding ways to boost health and mood, are all reflected in the emerging and continuing trends we expect to impact store shelves and restaurant menus in the coming year.”

SFA also highlighted the up-and-coming cell-based sector, which has been on the rise, especially after UPSIDE Foods received USDA approval to sell its cell-cultivated chicken in June 2023.

“Cell-based options will gain popularity in 2024 due to their sustainable and ethical production methods, addressing environmental and animal welfare concerns while offering a familiar taste experience to consumers,” SFA Trendspotter Patsy Ramirez-Arroyo said. 

- Interest in cell-cultivated seafood is growing in Japan. A recent study has shown that 70 percent of Japanese consumers are interested in tasting cell-cultivated seafood, with 60 percent willing to purchase it once made accessible, according to Vegconomist.

“This study’s findings indicate that the Japanese market is moderately ready for cell-based seafood product launches," the authors of the study said, according to Vegconomist. "High levels of interest and low levels of food neophobia might indicate the existence of a considerable number of innovators and early adaptors within the studied sample, possibly portending a promising future market."

The study found high interest levels in cell-based products, especially among younger consumers. It found no association between gender and attitudes toward the protein alternatives. Tuna and salmon analogs were of highest interest to the Japanese public, according to the study.

- Current Foods' plant-based salmon is now available at the Madrid, Spain-based Healthy Poke restaurant location. 

“Fresh, sustainable, and totally vegan – it's the perfect fusion of flavors. Tag your friends who can't resist a tasty poke bowl, and join us in the journey to a more sustainable and healthier planet, one bite at a time,” Current Foods said in a presss release on 26 October. 

Current Foods, headquartered in San Francisco, California U.S.A., was acquired by Wicked Kitchen in May 2023.  

Photo courtesy of Healthy Poke/Facebook


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