Expansion of range of fish alternatives
After introducing its vegetable tuna and fish sticks earlier this year, family business Schouten Europe is now launching a ‘Fishless burger’. By adding fish substitutes to its range, Schouten is giving its customers worldwide the opportunity to purchase fish alternatives in addition to meat alternatives. As such, Schouten confirms the international pioneering role of Dutch companies in the field of plant-based meat and fish alternatives.
Interest from the fish industry
Commercial director Arjaan van der Giessen of Schouten notes that increasingly more companies in the fish industry are closely following the developments in plant-based products. “We regularly speak with large parties from the fish industry, who are quite interested in our products as well as the developments in the field of plant-based fish. Many of these companies want to offer plant-based options but do not know how to go about it”.
Imitating fish is not easy. Schouten’s R&D Manager Anke van Eijk talks about a completely different process than replacing meat. “Different techniques are involved because the texture of fish is quite different from that of meat. We are getting better and better at mimicking this particular texture. Of course, the recognisable fish taste is also quite important. If these aspects are not correct, consumers are unlikely to make the structural switch to plant-based fish'”.
Plant-based fish is one of the most promising categories within plant-based food. This is stated by ProVeg International based on the Smart Protein Report 2021, which is supported by the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme of the EU. Research firm AC Nielsen found the strongest growth in the German market: between 2018 and 2020, the plant-based fish category grew by 623% to €1.9 million*.
*Total market incl. discounters, Germany, sales value in €, plant-based fish, MAT CW39 2018 vs 2020 – AC Nielsen Market Track.
The Fishless Burger by Schouten is based on rice and wheat and weighs 80 g. In the near future, Schouten will present the product worldwide to its customers in the retail, out-of-home, and food industry channels. It can be eaten with a hot meal, in a salad, or on a sandwich.
The first Dutch company
Schouten started in 1990 as the first Dutch company to develop meat alternatives with plant-based proteins. The company markets one of the most extensive and varied ranges in the world and supplies its products, primarily under their private label, in more than 50 countries. Schouten also develops many products according to customer demands.