Back in January, food tech New Wave Foods, a company disrupting the seafood market with its plant-based shellfish products, closed a US$18 million Series A round in order to help unveil its animal-free shrimp to consumers and this week, the company celebrates a major milestone: the nationwide launched of its flagship product via foodservice channels throughout the United States in a partnership with foodservice player Dot Foods.
San Francisco-based New Wave Foods, one of the alternative protein’s earliest startups, has signed a strategic distribution agreement with Dot Foods, a leading foodservice industry redistributor in North America, to launch its New Wave Shrimp across restaurants and foodservice companies in the country to make its product readily accessible to U.S. consumers.
New Wave Foods’ mission is to protect the environment, especially the oceans, from the atrocities committed by the seafood industry from over-fishing to ecologically destructing shellfish. The startup was memorably featured in the closing scenes of Netflix’s just-released Seaspiracy film, a documentary that takes viewers on a journey around the world to highlight what overfishing is doing to our oceans. The director and narrator Ali Tabrizi suggests that New Waves Foods is a key part of the solution to helping people reduce their fish and seafood consumption.
Read: The Seaspiracy documentary brings to light the wrongdoings of seafood industry and how we are drastically changing life in the oceans, ultimately harming us with devastating consequences.
The New Wave Shrimp is developed from seaweed and plant proteins that are created with the help of chefs and R&D experts, with the company claiming that its product as virtually identical in terms of taste, texture and feel to its ocean shrimp counterpart.
It can be pre-cooked and used in preparations for a range of dishes including soups, tacos, pasta and stir frieds.Apart from being plant-based and shell-fish free, it’s also soy allergen- free, gluten-free, and GMO-free.
According to the company, U.S. consumers eat around 1.5 billion pounds of shrimp annually, making it the most consumed seafood in the country, which is why New Wave Foods found it necessary to disrupt the market with a plant-based alternative.
In a press release seen by Green Queen, CEO of New Wave Foods Mary McGovern said the company is excited to launch this new agreement on the heels of their recent US$18 million Series A financing. “This agreement extends our presence and provides foodservice companies throughout the U.S. greater access to New Wave’s plant-based shrimp. Given Dot Food’s vast foodservice distribution coverage, this partnership provides New Wave Foods with immediate national availability while demonstrating Dot’s belief in the growth of plant-based eating and New Wave’s product offering.”
This agreement extends our presence and provides foodservice companies throughout the U.S. greater access to New Wave’s plant-based shrimp. Given Dot Food’s vast foodservice distribution coverage, this partnership provides New Wave Foods with immediate national availabilityMary McGovern, CEO of New Wave Foods
The January funding round was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), a global venture capital giant, and received support from Evolution VC Partners, Sand Hill Angels, and Tyson Ventures, the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods, Inc.
Apart from helping to launch the New Wave Shrimp product, the funding will help the company expand its product portfolio to develop more plant-based shellfish items like lobster, crab, and scallops.
Director of natural and specialty at Dot Foods Rodd Willis, said: “We know that commercial and non-commercial foodservice operators need to continue to excite their guests with innovative food products, and plant-based food is the largest growing segment. New Wave Shrimp is an extremely unique product – a true game changer in the seafood industry. We believe that it is a great plant-based alternative to ocean shrimp as an ingredient, and that it delivers on the needs of foodservice operators for menu versatility and quality.”
With several consumers ditching red meat and opting for seafood instead, companies across the world are innovating and developing plant-based seafood analogues including plant-based seafood maker Ocean Hugger Foods joining forces with Bangkok-based Nove Foods to debut its alternative seafood products across 30 countries, seafood begemoth Thai Union Group has decided to meet the increasing demand for plant-based seafood with plans to release plant-based shrimp this year and even leading companies like Nestlé launched its vegan tuna last year.
Read: A new report on seafood fraud revealed over 40% of 9,000 fish items tested in over 30 countries were mislabelled and sold as completely different species.
Lead image courtesy of New Wave Foods.