Tyson-backed New Wave Foods announced today that it is launching its plant-based shrimp alternative in foodservice companies and restaurants throughout the U.S. The company signed a non-exclusive agreement with the largest foodservice redistributor in the U.S., Dot Foods, to make its product commercially available.
New Wave Shrimp is made from a combination of mung bean, seaweed, and other plant-based ingredients. The plant-based shrimp can be used just like regular shrimp – it can be grilled, baked, sautéed, fried, and seared. Besides being vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO, the shrimp alternative is also suitable for those who have a shellfish allergy.
Shrimp is the most consumed seafood in the U.S., and the population of wild shrimp continues to decline due to environmental pollution and overfishing. Additionally, shrimp fishing produces a lot of bycatch, which can reduce the population of wild fish and turtles. Farmed shrimp is an alternative to wild-caught shrimp, however, it can contain high amounts of unwanted antibiotics, be farmed by slave labor, and emit a high amount of carbon dioxide.
Other companies besides New Wave Foods are focused on providing a sustainable and plant-based option to wild and farmed shrimp. The Plant Based Seafood Co. has three varieties of plant-based shrimp, coconut-crusted, breaded, and regular, made from a base of konjac powder. Sophie’s Kitchen produces a variety of plant-based seafood products and its shrimp alternative is made from rice flakes, potato-starch, and konjac.
New Wave Shrimp is the first product from the company, and we may start seeing the product on restaurant menus by mid-2021. In 2022, New Wave Foods plans on expanding its product line to include lobster, scallops, and crabs.