He came for your beef, your chicken, and your pork. Now seafood is next to get the herbal treatment.
Launched in Singapore in November, Hong Kong-based Omnifoods has introduced a range of six plant-based fish to replace tuna, crab and whitefish. Similar to their pork substitutes, the new products would offer a safe and alternative source of protein while tackling environmental issues such as overfishing and degraded seas.
“We are very excited to bring our delicious new Omniseafood creations to Singapore,” said David Yeung, founder and CEO of Omnifoods parent company Green Monday Group. “Having proven itself in the market with our range of meat alternatives, our primary focus now is on combating overfishing and providing consumers with a healthy and sustainable option that slows the impact of consuming seafood. the sea.”
Omnifoods’ expansion comes at a time when the market for plant-based products is growing. According to Enterprise Singapore, local interest in mindful consumption has doubled in 2020, and flexitarians – people who primarily eat a plant-based diet but occasionally consume meat or seafood – represent the growing segment. the fastest. Global demand for plant-based meats is also growing, with a value expected to reach $23.2 billion by 2024, market research firm Euromonitor said.
The ocean is another reason cited as the need for plant-based seafood. The average person here consumed 22kg of seafood last year, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said, topping the global average by 20kg. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has also observed that three-quarters of the seafood served in Singapore is unsustainable.
While local authorities have pushed aquaculture as an alternative, fish farming involves the use of antibiotics, pesticides and other chemicals to prevent disease and parasites. Much of these chemicals then accumulate in the tissues of the fish. (SFA has a certification stamp for fish farms that adhere to good aquaculture practices, including the type of feeds and chemotherapeutics used. Of the 110 farms currently registered here, only four have received the mark.)
Omnifoods said its products address all of these concerns. Made primarily from non-genetically modified soybeans, the plant-based alternatives are certified vegan and free of alliums, trans fats and cholesterol. It is also mercury-free and free of hormones, artificial colors, monosodium glutamate, antibiotics and preservatives.
The company pointed out that the products share a similar look, feel and taste to the real thing. During a tasting at their Singaporean restaurant Green Common, the Omnituna sushi arrived tender and creamy, and the crab cakes were sweet. The breaded tenderloins, which were served as a burger and taco, were flaky and juicy. The only disappointment was the regular fillet, which did not have the expected fishy taste.
Besides Omnifoods, Singaporean companies are also tapping into the alternative seafood market. Growthwell Group recently raised US$22 million (S$29.8 million) to fund its foray into prawns, squid and crab at chickpea protein base. Meanwhile, Shiok Meats is growing shellfish from stem cells.
Omniseafood is currently available as part of the Green Common dishes. Products like tuna and fillets can also be purchased as ready-to-cook items.
Green Common is located at 1 Harbourfront Walk, Vivocity, #01-169/170, Singapore 098585.
Monday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.