Plant-based fish is gaining momentum because of rising gas oil prices
Because of the sharp rise in gas oil prices as a result of the war in Ukraine, profitable fishing is currently no longer possible. Many ships are not setting sail, and the prices of fish are rising rapidly. According to Schouten Europe, as a result of these developments, the demand for plant-based alternatives to fish is increasing. The family business from Brabant will present its fish alternatives to the general public for the first time during the PLMA fair in Amsterdam.
Not hoped for
“First of all, the current trigger of the growing demand for plant-based alternatives to fish is certainly not what we had hoped for. As entrepreneurs, we sympathise with all those people in the fishing sector who are being hit hard”, says CEO Henk Schouten. “Our customers have been asking whether we can accelerate the development of plant-based alternatives. This cannot be seen in isolation from the situation in the fishing sector”.
The most innovative SME food company
Last year, the Giessen-based company made the switch to fish alternatives for the first time. The plant-based tuna was recently placed second in the prestigious Chamber of Commerce Innovation Top 100. Schouten Europe can now call itself the most innovative SME food company in the Netherlands
After developing meat alternatives for 30 years, Schouten introduced its first fish alternative – Vegan Green Tuna – last year. This product received a lot of attention in both the national and international media. The plant-based tuna is based on soy and wheat and can be processed in other products such as sandwich spreads, salads, wraps, and ready-to-eat meals. The product can even be used as a pizza topping.
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 including discounters, Germany, sales value in €, plant-based fish, MAT CW39 2018 vs 2020 – AC Nielsen Market Track.
The number of fish substitutes is increasing worldwide. Henk Schouten: “Just as we are forerunners in the market for meat alternatives, we want to be the same in the field of fish alternatives. We want to continue to develop sustainable and tasty alternatives that reduce the pressure on the world’s oceans’”. In 2021 Schouten also introduced vegetable fish fingers in addition to tuna. The interested public can also see and taste this product during the PLMA fair on 31 May and 1 June in Amsterdam Rai.
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 comprehensive and varied ranges in the world and supplies its products in more than 50 countries. The company also develops many customer-specific products.
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