Plant-based seafood analog distribution spreading quickly in North America

Plant-based seafood analog distribution is growing in North America.

Plant-based seafood analog distribution is growing in North America, but the overall category still makes up a very small share of the overall seafood market.

Plant-based seafood analogs accounted for a mere 0.1 percent of the retail dollar share amount of all seafood products in the United States in 2020, according to the Good Food Institute.

But the trade group representing the plant-based sector said sales could grow significantly in the future. Retail plant-based seafood sales could grow by USD 221 million (EUR 187 million) if the category is able to capture the same share of the seafood market that plant-based meat has of the meat market, GFI said in its new “State of the Industry Report: Alternative Seafood.”

“Because a large percentage (65 percent) of seafood sales in the U.S. occur in foodservice, this opportunity is an underestimate of the total market opportunity, which is likely much greater,” GFI said.

The overall plant-based foods market could make up to 7.7 percent of the global protein market by 2030, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. The value of the market could reach more than USD 162 billion (EUR 137 billion) by 2030, a sizeable increase from the current level of USD 29.4 billion (EUR 25 billion), recorded in 2020.

Plant-based seafood analog suppliers in Europe, the U.S., and Canada, continue to gain distribution of their products. Novish, which is based in Breda, the Netherlands-based and which produces several plant based seafood analog products for the global retail and foodservice markets, is expanding to the U.S., debuting its products at Natural Products Expo East in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. from 23 to 25 September. The company will also be seeking Series B funding in the near-future to scale into serving the U.S. foodservice, retail, and wholesale markets, it said in a press release.

"We're excited to bring European-quality products with a winning combination of taste, texture, and affordability that will be appealing to the U.S. market," Novish Cofounder Maiko van der Meer said. Van der Meer is the former CEO of Dutch shrimp processor Klaas Puul. Novish, available in 15 countries, produces plant-based fish burgers, nuggets, filets, fingers, and flakes. The brand is sold at 300 locations of pan-European fish restaurant chain Nordsee, and has earned business from global foodservice management companies Compass Group and METRO/Macro Wholesale. Novish also recently signed a contract with leading U.K. online retailer Ocado for its plant-based fish fingers and fish burger analogs.

Elsewhere, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada-based Modern Plant-Based Foods is launching a plant-based seafood division, Modern Seafood.

“Modern Seafood will be focused on research and development, production, and manufacturing of plant-based seafood alternatives. Specifically, the sub-division will seek out collaborations with existing seafood companies interested in the development of quality seafood alternatives,” the company said in a press release.

Modern Seafood's core products will include its award-winning “crab cake” – the company's number top-selling item. The plant-based crab cake analog is available at retailers and foodservice establishments across Canada, and the company is expanding its distribution into the U.S. and Australia.

Modern Seafood is also planning to launch a plant-based smoked salmon analog that will be free of gluten, soy, and genetically-modified organisms.

"The alternative seafood sector is still in its infancy, and it is an area where we want to establish ourselves as industry leaders,” Modern Seafood Founder Tara Haddad said. “Smoked salmon is extremely popular and widely consumed around the world, and we feel there will be a surge in interest of products that have been developed by chefs, not manipulated by scientists.”

Separately, Gathered Foods’ Good Catch brand recently expanded its Plant-Based New England Style Crab Cakes to all BJ's Wholesale Clubs in the U.S. In addition, all 340 Sprouts Farmers Market locations recently began carrying Good Catch’s Plant-Based Breaded Fish Sticks, Plant-Based Breaded Fish Fillets and Plant-Based Breaded Crab Cakes, the supplier said in a press release.

Photo courtesy of Novish


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