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Austria’s Revo Foods has debuted its plant-based smoked salmon analogue in the U.K. It will be sold by GreenBay, a popular online vegan supermarket. The launch follows a successful domestic unveiling back in October last year and subsequent European rollout into more than 15 countries.
Revo says that it has developed its recipe to appeal to people who enjoy the taste of salmon but not the potential ingestion of heavy metals, including mercury and considers its salmon suitable for everybody, vegans, pescatarians, and meat-eaters alike
Why consumers need to move away from conventional seafood
Overfished and undernourishing, traditional fish meat is littered with issues and negatives. Global demand for seafood is outpacing stock replenishment. The number of overfished varieties has tripled in the last 50 years, leaving ecosystem damage, increased food insecurity and species extinction in its wake. It’s not just fish that are dying either.
The UN estimates that 20-25 percent of all sea creatures caught are scooped up in fishing ‘bycatches’. Seals, penguins, dolphins and others are included, with the majority dying as a result of the experience.
Potentially most motivating for consumers is the revelation that seafood contains various toxins and pollutants. The world’s oceans have been used as dumping grounds for waste for decades and now, seafood stocks are highlighting the effects. Fish routinely contain microplastics, heavy metals, sewage, and other contaminants. All of which are consumed along with their meat.
The plant-based fish Revo-lution
In a post-Seaspiracy world where the atrocities of the fishing industry are just a click of a television remote away, Revo has set out to capture taste without cruelty. Its ultimate aim is to end overfishing with its 3D printing technology and 11-ingredient salmon.
Made from pea protein, plant oils and algae extract, the vegan salmon contains omega-3 but steers clear of major allergens including soy and nuts. It is also manufactured sustainably, creating 85 percent fewer emissions than conventional salmon, according to Revo’s calculations. Responsible production was a further selling point to new distributor GreenBay.
“GreenBay’s mission is to make it easy, fun and convenient for everyone to discover new and emerging brands that are positively impacting the planet, and Revo Foods is exactly that”. Paula Alcalde, co-CEO of GreenBay said in a statement. “For us, accessibility is key. Consumers are becoming more and more aware of the environmental and ethical impact of our diet, and they want to make better choices. Our aim is to facilitate this change, showing people how small swaps can have a huge impact.”
Last year, Revo revealed that in a consumer poll, 85 percent of testers rated its salmon analogue as “extremely” or “very” positive. It claimed that sashimi and sushi products will be coming to market this year, following international expansion.
The upstream battle to be king of the vegan salmon
Plant-based salmon is a competitive field with independent startups and established brands seeking to claim victory. Israel’s Plantish caused a stir in January this year when it unveiled its hyper-realistic salmon fillet. The images proved enticing enough to help the startup scoop $12.45 million in seed funding to scale its production and accelerate its entry to market.
Also in Israel, SimpliiGood is looking to leverage the power of spirulina to create a smoked salmon alternative. The company already produces plant-based meats, drinks and ice creams, but until now, has not branched out into alt-seafood.
JBS-owned Vivera launched its own plant-based salmon fillet, as Plantish was making headlines with its own. Debuted with a USP of being less expensive than conventional salmon, the Dutch brand claims it has replicated the fattiness and flakiness that regular salmon eaters crave.
All photos by Revo Foods.