Protein Industries Canada and partners invest $5.1M to advance plant-based seafood
By Food in Canada StaffBusiness Operations Ingredients & Additives Plant-based foods Alternative seafood Avena Foods British Columbia Canadian Pacifico Seaweeds Editor pick Konscious Foods Protein Industries Canada Saskatchewan
Protein Industries Canada launches a new project with Konscious Foods, Avena Foods, and Canadian Pacifico Seaweeds (CPS) to bring new plant-based products to the marketplace. Building off the success of Konscious Foods’ frozen plant-based sushi, this project will amplify the nutritional content of its existing plant-based seafood products while helping the brand bring new products to market.
With this project, Konscious Foods will advance the fortification and commercialization of its existing products, as well as develop an extended range of new offerings out of its 34,000-sf facility in Richmond, B.C., by using pulse ingredients sourced from Avena in the Prairies, as well as CPS’ locally sourced seaweed. Konscious Foods will also evaluate pulses and grains from other Canadian suppliers and work with multiple universities to enhance the nutritional profile of ingredients and products.
“The innovation showcased by Konscious Foods and its partners is what differentiates Canada in this growing market space. Our ability to have ingredient processors – in this case, Avena – who work directly with farmers, and then loop back to the food processors, is the benefit of Canada’s uniquely integrated value chain,” CEO of Protein Industries Canada Bill Greuel said. “This connection and collaboration, along with the support of the Global Innovation Clusters program, is supporting innovation at an accelerated rate, leading to more successful Canadian companies, the building of new facilities, and the development of new IP that is being commercialized in Canada.”
This project will launch new products like nori and tamagoyaki plant-based egg. Konscious Food’s will also improve the nutritional content of its existing seafood-alternative products, including increased protein and vitamin integration of Omega-3 fatty acids. The total value of this project is $5.1 million, with Protein Industries Canada investing up to $2.3 million and the consortium investing the remainder.
“We are grateful for our continued partnership and investment of Protein Industries Canada as we march onwards towards our goal of bringing good-for-you, good-for-the-planet alternatives to the masses,” said Yves Potvin, founder and president of Konscious Foods. “Widespread adoption of plant-based foods is simply impossible if we don’t focus on food that tastes good, is made of healthy high-quality ingredients, and is affordable. Protein Industries Canada is connecting our culinary and technical knowledge with locally sourced, best-in-class ingredient partners to advance our mission of transforming how people eat.”
Avena will supply Konscious with new pulse-based ingredients to incorporate into their existing products. As well, through proprietary milling methods, Avena will supply functional pulse ingredients that mimic conventional egg to be used in a plant-based Japanese-style omelet (Tamagoyaki).
“Konscious Foods is known for innovation. Avena is excited to be a partner offering pulse ingredient solutions that will help Konscious to develop innovative plant-based seafood products for this fast-growing market segment,” said Avena CEO Wayne Arsenault.
CPS will focus developing a locally sourced nori product, working with local B.C. farmers to select different types of seaweeds for testing and evaluation, from seedstock to growing and harvesting.
“At Canadian Pacifico Seaweeds, we’re honoured to be guided by a pioneering Japanese company, renowned for its innovation in nori snacks,” founder and CEO of CPS Majid Hajibeigy said. “Their expertise sets the gold standard in nori production, enriching our efforts to craft a locally sourced nori product in collaboration with Coastal B.C. farmers. With sustainability at the forefront, we’re charting a course towards an eco-friendly, efficient and non-hazardous alternative extraction method. This partnership underscores our joint commitment to excellence in seaweed cultivation, ensuring a premium, locally produced product for BC and beyond.”
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