Delicious taste, a nutritious profile, sustainably sourced and a wide variety of choices are the objectives of a new line of products developed by partners Konscious Foods, Merit Functional Foods and Canadian Pacifico Seaweeds.
Konscious Foods incorporates Canadian-grown and -processed ingredients, including Merit’s pea and canola proteins and Canadian Pacifico Seaweeds’ seaweed ingredients, to develop more than 20 plant-based seafood alternative products, which will be available in grocery store freezer aisles. While focusing on keeping the products sustainable and clean-label, the partners have also matched the taste and texture of the products’ seafood counterparts.
“It’s impressive to see Canadian companies working together to develop new and innovative plant-based seafood products,” said the François-Philippe Champagne, minister of innovation, science and industry. “This project, with the support of the federal government, is building capacity, leveraging partnerships and creating more jobs and economic growth, all while delivering in-demand products.”
The products are being developed, in part, with a co-investment from Protein Industries Canada.
“Canadian consumers are looking for more plant-based food choices, and they want those choices to be developed sustainably and here in Canada whenever possible,” Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel said. “Our processors and manufacturers have the innovative mindset and raw resources to do that, but they often need investment support. Protein Industries Canada is proud to be one of their potential partners in that area, helping to get new plant-based foods—like these seafood alternatives—into grocery stores sooner, providing Canadian families with new choices of healthy, sustainable food options.”
With several of their seafood alternatives already in Canadian grocery stores, Konscious Foods expects to roll the products out across North American markets, including through grocery stores and food-service channels. Further market expansion will occur as both the brand and product line grow.
This growth, and the success the partnership has seen so far, is built on a combination of the products’ sustainable development, the collaborative relationship between the partners, and the combined, long-term expertise of the project partners’ senior team members. This includes Konscious Foods’ principal founder, Yves Potvin, who founded and sold the successful plant-based companies Yves Veggie Cuisine and Gardein.
"At Konscious, our chefs apply their culinary skills to crafting elevated plant-based foods using simple high-quality ingredients," said Yves Potvin, CEO of Konscious Foods. “We are grateful for the support that Protein Industries Canada has provided, allowing us to bring innovation to the grocery freezer aisle and helping shoppers make better choices. Our new line of delicious plant-based sushi and onigiri is good for you and for the planet.”
A total of $15.3 million has been committed to the project, with Protein Industries Canada committing $5.5 million and the partners committing the remaining $9.8 million.
Over the past three years, Protein Industries Canada and industry partners have invested more than $485 million into growing Canada’s plant-based food, feed and ingredient sector.