UMAMI Bioworks acquires Shiok Meats; Revo Foods launches octopus analog; Conagra debuts plant-based fish

Revo Foods - The KRAKEN octapus analog
Photo courtesy of Revo Foods
4 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.

- Singapore-based cultivated meats company UMAMI Bioworks has acquired cultivated meat and seafood company Shiok Meats.

The merger gives UMAMI Bioworks control over Shiok Meats' research into the development of cell-based crustacean products, including cell-based lobster and shrimp.

This strategic combination aims to expedite the journey towards scalable production of sustainable, cultivated seafood,” UMAMI Bioworks said in a release.

In June 2023, Shiok Meats announced a pause in its development of cell-cultured seafood in order to focus on cell-cultured beef. In a letter posted on LinkedIn, Shiok Meats CEO and Co-Founder Sandhya Sriram said the shift was the result of tightened finances. The start-up was founded in 2018, and, in 2019, it showcased its first cell-cultured shrimp dumpling prototype after raising USD 1 million (EUR 918,000) in initial funding

UMAMI Bioworks recently announced it will open a cultivated meats factory in Malaysia in 2025 with its partner Cell AgriTech. The factory is slated to be the largest cell-cultivation facility in the Asia-Pacific region. 

In her company's 13 March announcement, Sriram said the creation of seafood alternatives will remain a priority for the combined entity.

“By bringing together these two iconic companies, we are creating a strong platform to make the vision of cultivated seafood a reality. The combined business means increased scale and speed to market in Asia and globally," she said. "The strong technology and team Umami has built will be the perfect custodian of the progress Shiok Meats has made on crustaceans, especially with our patent recently granted in the E.U. I have always believed in consolidation to progress a novel industry like ours. I’m excited by the opportunities for what this new combined organization will achieve.”

- Vienna, Austria-based plant-based food company Revo Foods launched its octopus analog, THE KRAKEN. The product is made from fungi-protein as an alternative to tentacles, imitating the look and feel of real octopus. 

“By releasing THE KRAKEN, Revo Foods shows again how fast the development of new technologies is taking place in the plant-based space right now," Revo Foods CEO Robin Simsa told SeafoodSource. "The whole industry is a powerhouse of innovation at the moment, and I am confident that in about 5 years, many plant-based products will be almost indistinguishable from animal-based products in terms of taste."

THE KRAKEN is high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber, and comes ready to eat, but also can be heated, grilled, fried, or baked, Revo Foods Head of FoodTech Niccolo Galizzi said. 

"Octopus tentacles, with their intense color and distinct suckers, are a very special product with an exciting look. So far, there has been no realistic alternative on the market. THE KRAKEN has the potential to be a real enrichment for octopus fans,” Galizzi said. 

- Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.-based Conagra Brands debuted its Ultimate Plant-Based Fish at Expo West, which took place from 12 to 16 March, in Anaheim, California, U.S.A. 

The Ultimate Plant-Based Fish is “A plant-based way to enjoy fish and chips, each filet is three ounces and covered in a crispy panko breading,” Conagra said in a release. 

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