the Alt Protein Project creates transdisciplinary capacity and a collaborative environment by linking theory and practice. NMBU hopes the project will break down academic silos, bridge the gap between academia and industry, and connect innovative research to the marketplace. With the Good Food Institute (GFI) global network, universities, industry partners, public sector, NGOs and other student organizations, the project aims to build awareness and collaboration across the value chain, to enable a win-win transition for all stakeholders.
As part of the project, NMBU last week hosted the first Special Conference on Alternative Seafood, presented by Amod Ashok Salgaonkar, co-founder of A2S2 Enterprises and member of the Industry Advisory Board of the Good Food Institute, India. The conference covered an overview of the alternative seafood industry, sales and investment in the sector, key takeaways from Seafood Expo North America, GFI India’s role in the smart protein mission and India-Norway opportunities in the alternative seafood segment. The presentation also included information on Israel’s emerging startups in the alternative seafood segment for 2021 and similar businesses coming online through the first of its kind. India Smart Protein Innovation Challenge (ISPIC) with GFI India.
ISPIC aims to educate and inspire young talent to enter the smart protein sector. Challenge participants have access to learning, certification, mentorship and cash prizes. Participation is open to students, young professionals and entrepreneurs in scientific and business fields. The 2021 edition of ISPIC saw the participation of over 750 applicants from over 250 universities and organizations in India. The results of the event were declared last week and the final 20 teams chosen as the winners. Four teams on the shortlist are from the alternative seafood segment.
Retail sales of plant-based meat and seafood in the United States increased significantly from $804 million in 2019 to $1.4 billion in 2020, but growth remains stagnant from 2020 to 2021 From 2019 to 2021, plant-based seafood grew by 42%. The year 2021 has seen growth in dollar sales of plant-based shellfish and fish. Plant-based shellfish, which includes plant-based analogues for shrimp, scallops and crab, increased by 30% and plant-based fish by 9%. By composition in alternative seafood, the plant-based fish category and the plant-based shellfish category generated retail market sales of $10.4 million and $3.5 million, respectively. in 2021. Eight new plant-based seafood products saw their first sales in US outlets in 2021. .
Among one of the latest regulatory developments regarding cultured (cell culture) meat, the Dutch House of Representatives passed a resolution in March 2022 to allow “tastings of meat cultured under controlled conditions in the Netherlands”. In the investment landscape, San Francisco’s cultured seafood startup wild type raised $100 million in Series B funding in February 2022.