This French Startup Makes Vegan Seafood From Algae and Got A €2M Grant For It

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Algama Foods, a French startup harnessing the power of algae and microalgae to make sustainable foods, is now growing its range with vegan seafood. And the European Commission just awarded the company with a €2 million grant to help bring its plant-based smoked salmon and tuna flakes to market. 

Algama has recently received a €2 million grant from the FEAMP 2020 Blue Economy Window launched by the European Commission’s European Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Fund (EMAF). The French startup was one of 11 total projects to secure funding from EMAF to advance their fishing and aquaculture solutions. Algama will be using the capital to further develop and scale its new range of vegan seafood. 

Vegan seafood

Since its inception in 2013, Algama has been developing sustainable alternatives to all animal proteins, from eggs to dairy and meat products, by leveraging algae ingredients. It operates as a B2B startup, offering its co-development and formulation expertise to other food producers. Some of its spin-off brands include vegan mayonnaise label The Good Spoon and Update Foods, the startup making dairy-free milk. 

Now, Algama is putting its focus into vegan seafood alternatives, one of the fastest-growing categories in the alternative protein space. According to investment data, companies developing alt-seafood products have bagged $116 million within the first half of 2021—more than the total recorded last year.

The French startup is specifically working on two products: vegan smoked salmon slices and tuna flakes. Like the rest of Algama’s portfolio, the seafood alternatives will be developed using its microalgae-powered technology. 

Related: Meet these 9 French startups redefining food, from cell-based foie gras to vegan cheese

‘Seafood Algternative’

Algama plans to launch its vegan seafood line under the brand Seafood Algternative, which marks the firm’s fourth spin-off to date. The EU grant will help the startup make around 20 new hires and grow its team to support the R&D and launch of the new range. 

“This financial support from the European Commission validates our strategy, initiated several years ago, to develop 100% plant-based and textured food solutions using algae and microalgae ingredients,” shared Algama co-founder and CEO Alvyn Severien.  

“This new generation of products is a real breakthrough compared to the benchmark currently on the market, [and] Seafood Algternative is a credible and scalable response to major food issues.”

Algama says that the brand will likely debut around the end of 2021 and will be looking for investment to support its roll-out in 2022. Sharing more about the firm’s foray into the vegan seafood category, Severien said that “after the replacement of eggs and milk, it is quite natural that we are interested in alternatives to fish.”


All images courtesy of Algama.

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