Move over, plant-based meat – the move now has its eyes on sea creatures.
One such company is Gathered Foods, which hit the market on July 19 with plant-based seafood – including a fish-free fillet and a crab-free cake – as interest in alternative foods is getting bigger.
Both offerings developed by subsidiary Good Catch are available at fast food chain Long John Silver’s for a limited time, in locations across California and Georgia. At the same time, the company also has a partnership with Whole FoodsAmazon’s premium grocery store (AMZN).
Fake fish isn’t new, as imitation shellfish, primarily aimed at allergy sufferers, have been a staple in grocery stores for years.
Still, Gathered Foods is leading the business lane recently created by plant-based suppliers like Beyond Meat (BYND) and Impossible Foods. Their products have debuted in well-known chains like Panda Express, KFC, Burger King, Starbucks (SBUX) and Dunkin’ Donuts.
“It took us a few years to develop” the light, flaky texture of the tenderloin and the cake, Christine Mei, CEO of Gathered Foods, told Yahoo Finance Live this week.
“One of the biggest differentiators when you’re eating seafood is texture versus say some of the other animal proteins…we want to make sure we’re building consumer experiences that taste great. , because if you have good taste, then you will come back,” she added.
Good Catch’s offerings are created from a blend of six key legumes including peas, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, fava beans and navy beans.
So will consumers bite? Although some may consider it a niche subsection of plant proteins, Mei thinks this is just the beginning.
“People are still learning about the availability and all the momentum of plant-based seafood,” she said. Gathered Foods still sees itself as a startup whose mission is to “positively disrupt” and drive change to both deliver a plant-based solution and support ocean health.
Good Catch is also looking to capture customers’ attention and perhaps cause a bit of a stir with its “OurWay” message. On July 15, the company visited a van outside “popular fast food sandwich shops in London, New York and Austin” for consumers to try a free Good Catch tuna sub.
Interestingly, the promotion is perfectly timed, as Subway fended off ongoing questions about the authenticity of its wildly popular tuna. Recently, CEO John Chidsey squashed all speculation in a recent interview with Yahoo Finance LIVE, noting “it’s 100% real tuna. We’re very proud of our tuna.”