Good Catch, a plant-based tuna alternative, became available to consumers at Whole Foods and Thrive Market as of Wednesday. The product has been in development for two years, during which the co-founders spent time seeking to replicate the texture and flavor of tuna, but not the fishy smell.
“The characteristics of tuna are very different from chicken or beef,” vegan chef and Good Catch co-founder Chad Sarno tells Forbes. “It’s a very dry protein, whereas chicken or beef is bouncy. That’s what we focused on first, and we got that right and then really tried to dig into taste and nutrition.”
The product is made with a proprietary six-legume blend and algal oil, a plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids. It is devoid of gluten, dairy, and GMOs and is currently available in three flavors – plain, Mediterranean, and Oil & Herbs.
While the plant-based meat industry has seen a massive boom of late, growing 23 percent in 2018 according to data from the Good Food Institute, the plant-based fish market has been slower to take off.
"Roughly 40 percent of the world's population relies on seafood as their main source of protein – and while there are a lot of plant-based protein alternatives in the meat and poultry categories, seafood is virtually untouched," Chris Kerr of New Crop Capital, who partnered with Good Catch co-founding vegan chefs brothers Chad and Derek Sarno two years ago, tells Entrepreneur.
Good Catch nevertheless joins other similar products on the marketplace, like soy-based Tuno and konjac-based Toona.
Part of plant-based meat’s growing popularity is linked to the beneficial effects of a plant-based diet on the planet’s overextended resources. One recent study in Climate Policy indicated that transitioning to a plant-based diet could help the world meet climate targets by 2030.
Nearly 90 percent of the world’s marine fish stocks are fully exploited, overexploited, or depleted, according to data from the United Nations.
"We see a big opportunity to offer a plant-based alternative that tastes great, without supporting the inherent problems of the seafood industry, including mercury, PCBs and microplastic health hazards, horrendous sea-life suffering and overfishing," says Kerr.
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