Sysco Reels In Mind Blown Vegan Crab Cakes As Its Plant Division Heats Up

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The Plant Based Seafood Company has partnered with foodservice giant Sysco for the distribution of its Mind Blown vegan crab cakes.

The Virginia-based Plant Based Seafood Company says its vegan crab cakes will soon be available across New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and Washington D.C. thanks to a distribution deal with Sysco and New York-based distributor Fancy Foods. Sysco serves more than 650,000 customers worldwide.

Vegan seafood comes to the table

“We’re thrilled that more people will have the option to choose a seafood alternative and see that anything seafood can do, Mind Blown can do just as well,” Mind Blown Co-Founder and CEO Monica Talbert said in a statement. “This is just the beginning of an aggressive food service channel push, which will give diners more options to enjoy a delicious seafood experience while at the same time relieving pressure off our precious oceans.”

The distribution push follows its national placement at Sprouts Farmers Market stores earlier this year and the launch of fried vegan oysters last year.

mind blown crab
Mind Blown crab cakes | Courtesy

The Plant Based Seafood Company launched into the nascent vegan seafood market in 2020. It was awarded the “Most Disruptive Product of 2020” at Prepared Foods’ Spirit of Innovation Awards, “Best Plant-Based Seafood Product of the Year” at World Plant-Based Awards, “Best Plant Based Seafood Product of the Year” at Mindful Awards, and “Best New Frozen Product” at the New Hope Network 2022 Expo West NEXTY Awards, among other recognitions.

The company has also attracted celebrity investor partners including Chef Spike Mendelsohn and eight-time James Beard award recipient, Bravo TV star, Chef Tom Colicchio.

The vegan seafood category is small but growing, driven in large part by Good Catch, the Wicked Kitchen-owned brand that has raised more than $77 million, according to Crunchbase.

According to the Good Food Institute, investments in alternative seafood nearly doubled last year, with more than $175 million invested in plant-based, cultured, and fermented seafood alternatives.

Sysco doubles down on vegan options

Last week, the Modern Meat Plant Based Foods company struck a distribution deal for its Modern Crumble plant-based meat with Sysco and Gordon’s Food Service. It says it will strategically focus on larger restaurant chains and established producers looking for additional production capabilities within Canada as it increases its private label opportunities.

modern crumble
Modern Crumble | Courtesy

Sysco is also increasing its own plant-based dining options through its Sysco Simply Plant Based label. The distributor launched the range in 2019 to meet the demand for healthier, plant-based food and has added meatballs, burgers, oat meat, and dairy-free options, among other offerings.

“Sysco developed Sysco Simply to offer our customers more of what they need to be successful in a competitive marketplace,” Brian Todd, Sysco’s senior vice president, merchandising and marketing, said in 2020 when it launched its first Sysco Simply plant-based burger. “This launch, and the Sysco Simply brand, demonstrate our commitment to providing our customers with innovative, versatile and easy-to-use product solutions. Our customers can feature these delicious plant-based burgers to keep their menu offerings fresh and relevant with today’s consumers.”

Lead image courtesy The Plant Based Seafood Co.


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