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Dwight’s 2023 F&B Trend of the Year: Sustainable Seafood

13 February 2023

Dwight’s F&B Trend of the Year, Sustainable Seafood has been gaining popularity in the natural food space, whether it’s sustainably-sourced seafood or plant-based seafood alternatives. We predict this momentum to accelerate throughout the year.

Sustainable seafood is crucial for the health of our oceans and the long-term viability of the seafood industry. With growing awareness of issues like overfishing, bycatch, and habitat destruction, we predict a growing number of brands producing seafood products developed in an environmentally responsible manner.

There are many examples of ways in which the industry is seeking to minimize the negative effects of seafood consumption on the environment and maintain healthy fish populations. Some initiatives set catch limits by species, restrict fishing during certain times of the year, set minimum sizes for fish that can be caught, and reduce bycatch. Aquaculture is the practice of farming fish and shellfish in controlled environments, minimizing environmental impact. Local sourcing promotes the purchase of seafood from local fishers who use sustainable practices and support the local economy.

At the same time, the rise of plant-based eating has opened up new opportunities for seafood alternatives. Seaweed, soy, algae, mushrooms and jackfruit are just a few examples of ingredients that have been used to mimic the taste, texture, and nutritional profile of traditional seafood. From algae-based shrimp to plant-based tuna, there are a growing number of options for consumers who want to enjoy the taste and texture of seafood without the environmental damage.

Below are a few examples of growth stage F&B brands already taking on the Sustainable Seafood category:

A sustainable seafood business producing plant-based meat and seafood-alternatives from ocean-farmed seagreens. AKUA prides itself in creating the world’s first 100% plant-based & gluten-free burger. Investors include Pegasus Sustainable Finance, Halogen Ventures, Fifth Down Capital, Alumni Ventures Group, and Sir Kensington’s co-founder Brandon Child.

A brand seeking to create the next generation of seafood with plants and biotechnology without compromising on taste, health, price or consistency. Current Food’s vegan tuna is so realistic that it put the startup on TIME’s 100 Best Inventions list. Investors include Managing Partner at GreatPoint Ventures Ray Lane, Union Grove Venture Partners, Electric Feel Ventures, Astanor Ventures, as well as 12-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul.

A woman-founded and led food company aiming to make ethically sourced, premium, and delicious tinned seafood a staple in every cupboard. Investors include Rose Street Capital and Redbird Ventures.

A Certified B-Corp Pending business, as well as a 1% for the Planet member. Scout is the first craft canned seafood line to source 100% of species off the shores of Canada and the U.S. Investors include Semillero Partners, Almanac Insights, and Sage Venture Partners.

A plant-based seafood company that pays homage to the seafood experience in a style of their own. Seed to Surf is best known for its flavorful seafood product that mimics the experience of tinned fish, but is made from whole vegetables. “Fast Track to Financing” support provided by Natural Products Canada.

All-female, family-owned company creating deceptively delicious seafood experiences made from plants. Re-creations of seafood favorites include shrimp, scallops, oysters, crab, and lobster using healthy plant ingredients. Investors include Celebrity Chefs Tom Colicchio and Spike Mendelsohn.

A woman-owned business focusing on showcasing small, underutilized fish from the Pacific Northwest and encouraging consumers to create environmentally conscious eating habits.

As we look ahead to the rest of 2023 and beyond, we expect to see sustainable seafood continue to gain momentum. Keep an eye out brands in this category as you walk through the aisles of trade shows and your local grocer!