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Good Catch, the plant-based seafood brand by US startup Gathered Foods, is launching in Singapore. From this month, restaurants across the island will be serving dishes featuring the food tech’s legume-based seafood substitutes. It marks the startup’s first entry into the Asia market, where demand for seafood is projected to account for the majority of consumption growth in the years ahead.
Good Catch has made Singapore its first Asian destination, launching via foodservice with partnering restaurants islandwide. Some of the establishments that have created dishes with Good Catch’s range of vegan seafood include restaurants at Grand Hyatt Singapore and Privé, as well as Love Handles and Good Food People, the delivery-only concept.
The launch of Good Catch in Singapore marks Gathered Foods’ first expansion into the Asian market, a region set to account for nearly three-quarters of the projected seafood demand rise in the next few years. Singaporeans are especially fond of seafood, with the average person in the city-state consuming 22 kilograms of seafood per year, more than the global average of 20 kilograms.
Gathered Foods alluded to its global expansion plans earlier this year, when it bagged $26 million in a bridge funding round. At the time, it said it wanted to bring Good Catch to more markets in Europe, adding to its footprint in the Netherlands, Spain, Canada, and the US and UK, before entering other countries.
Working with regional distributor Classic Fine Foods, Gathered Foods is launching four of Good Catch’s range in Singapore, among them the plant-based foodservice tuna cake, classic style fish burgers, Thai-style fish cakes and New England-style crab cakes. All of Good Catch’s range are created using the startup’s proprietary six-legume blend of non-GMO peas, chickpeas, lentils, soy, fava beans and navy beans.
Commenting on its Singapore expansion, Gathered Foods co-founder and chief culinary officer Chad Sarno said: “People are increasingly more aware about the environmental concerns that come with eating seafood. Understanding Singapore consumers’ love of seafood, their sophisticated palates, and the city’s massive variety of gastronomic options, we are excited to be launching our range of delicious plant-based seafood options.”
Gathered Foods has chosen to take a gastronomy-first approach to market in the city, launching via foodservice with select culinary partners before potentially entering retail. Food techs such as Impossible and Oatly have taken on this strategy to build consumer awareness.
“We’re constantly pushing culinary boundaries to deliver the taste and texture consumers expect from seafood and thrilled to launch with our select partners into this new market,” said Sarno.
Gathered Foods’ latest move to double down on its global footprint comes as the alternative seafood sector picks up speed. More consumers are looking for alternatives for fish and other types of seafood, especially as the destructive environmental impact of commercial fishing operations becomes more widely known, thanks to documentaries such as Seaspiracy.
“It is so exciting to see significant momentum building in Asia Pacific behind plant-based foods, particularly in Singapore,” shared Gathered Foods CEO Christine Mei. “Widely recognized as having curious consumers who are open to embracing new innovations, Singapore is a perfect launching ground to grow Good Catch with our partners and to delight our newest consumers.”
Singapore has made a name for itself as a food-tech innovation hub, becoming the world’s first to approve cultured meat last year, and backed by a government supportive of bolstering the city-state’s food security and resilience with alt-proteins. The city also boasts a strong cohort of homegrown food-tech players, among them cell-based crustacean maker Shiok Meats, and plant-based startups like Karana and Growthwell, with the latter focused on vegan seafood.
For Good Catch’s restaurant partners, rolling out new plant-based seafood dishes will help keep its menus in line with changing consumer tastes. Grand Hyatt Singapore’s Mezza9 and 10 Scotts establishments are set to debut dishes like vegan fish cakes with som tam salad, and plant-based tuna melt croissants this month.
“We witness an increasing number of chefs and consumers integrating sustainable products into their menus and diets respectively,” commented Karen Tay, general manager of Classic Fine Foods, whose network spans 10 countries and is the distributor for Singapore’s vegan chicken brand TiNDLE in its international markets.
“Helping Good Catch launch in Singapore is fully aligned with our strategy of becoming the choice partner for the best alternative protein brands,” Tay added.
All images courtesy of Good Catch.