Plant-based seafoods are on the menu of Long John Silver’s, the first major U.S. seafood chain to do so. The operator of over 700 restaurants has partnered with Good Catch to test its Breaded Fish-Free Fillet and Breaded Crab-Free Cake at restaurants in California and Georgia. The so called seafood includes a mix of peas, lentils, chickpeas, soy, numerous beans flavorings.
And Whole Foods Markets, owned by Amazon, claims that nearly half of U.S. consumers are looking for plant-based products, and fish alternatives made its first list of trend predictions.
One is Upton’s Naturals Banana Blossom, made from the large flowers that grow at the end of a banana bunch. Their neutral flavor and flaky texture make it an ideal fish substitute. Another predicted favorite is Good Catch Fish-Free Tuna.
Market tracker Fact.MR says that the global plant-based seafood sector is set to increase at an annual growth rate of 28% valued at $1.3 billion in 10 years.
Concern over the environment, depletion of fish stocks, and health problems associated with meat consumption are the key accelerators for the growing sales of seafood analogs.
But the imitation seafood products are confusing customers, according to a study by FoodMinds. It showed that 40% believed they contain real seafood and nearly 60% thought the products had similar nutritional benefits as real fish.
The seafood industry is pushing for a federal labeling fix to make sure customers know what they are getting. Gavin Gibbons is with the National Fisheries Institute, the nation’s largest seafood trade group.
“There is room for these products in the grocery store and on menus. This is not a fight that we are picking, it is simply a truth in labeling issue that needs to be addressed before consumers are even more confused than they are now.”
ON another fake fish front: Frankenfish is now being sold by restaurant supplier Samuels and Son Seafood of Philadelphia, the first company to publicly admit that it is selling the genetically modified salmon. The wholesale restaurant supplier services several chains including McCormick and Schmicks, Morton’s Steakhouse and The Hard Rock Café.
Over 80 food companies including Safeway,Kroger, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have said they will refuse to carr
The manmade fish, which grows roughly three times faster than normal salmon, is the first genetically modified animal to be approved by the federal government for human consumption.
New labeling laws go into effect in January but they don’t apply to restaurants or providers of meals away from home.