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Present Meals Raises $18M to Speed up ‘Past Meat to Seafood’ Growth Throughout B2B and Retail

If well being considerations about conventional meat consumption, reminiscent of coronary heart illness and dangerous ldl cholesterol, are driving the buyer’s shift to plant-based counterparts, it’s environmental points, notably overfishing, which might be driving the newest style options to seafood: a whopping $ 175 million was invested. within the sector globally in 2021, Good Meals Institute confirmed, rising by 92% in comparison with the earlier yr.

Present Meals, a startup providing plant-based tuna and salmon that guarantees higher scalability than cultured meat and value parity with typical seafood, has simply closed an $18 million seed spherical led by pioneers of the Different meat and Silicon Valley’s cultural tastemakers, spanning sports activities and music.

These traders embrace GreatPoint Ventures managing accomplice Ray Lane, Union Grove Enterprise Companions, Electrical Really feel Ventures, Astanor Ventures, in addition to 12-time NBA All-Star CP3 aka Chris Paul.

Launched by entrepreneur Jacek Prus, who has labored within the various protein area for the previous decade, together with CTO Ron Shigeta and Chief Scientific Officer Sonia Hurtado, Present Meals’ flagship tuna merchandise can be found primarily by way of B2B. at meals service venues and nice eating eating places, together with superstar chef Matthew Kenney’s eating places.

Eric Archambeau, co-founder and accomplice at Astanor Ventures, additionally provides that Present Meals can ship style and texture whereas offering an actual answer to as we speak’s well being and environmental crises. “On all of those elements, Present Meals salmon and tuna are clearly forward of different merchandise of their class,” Archambeau mentioned. “We’re very impressed with the speedy progress that Jacek, Sonia and the crew have made during the last two years and we could not be extra excited to assist them on this subsequent chapter of growth.”

Value parity and related perform with seafood

The Present Meals crew emphasizes how the newly raised capital will additional assist its smoked salmon retail launch, world growth into the Japanese market, and the corporate’s continued product refinement. The purpose is to finally obtain a big share of the seafood market, round 50%.

“Salmon and tuna are fairly a big market, so the expansion [rather than branching out into other seafood categories] it is a large focus for us proper now,” Prus lately instructed me throughout a Zoom name, including how the substances used to make Present Meals are just like Past Meat with proteins processed otherwise to imitate the feel of seafood.

“Our first ingredient is water, the second is pea protein, however it’s processed otherwise than [plant-based] floor beef protein,” Prus defined. “Then the lipids come from the sunflower and algae oils which truly give our Omega-3 and Omega-3 DHA merchandise, the dietary profit that seafood is legendary for. We additionally designed our product to work in an analogous method: our cholesterol-free merchandise are greater in fiber and decrease in sodium than common smoked salmon.”

As an early sponsor of Past Meat, Lane watches as Present Meals displays what he believes to be probably the most thrilling modifications occurring within the meals innovation area: the reinvention of meals itself. He mentioned: “We really feel we’ve invested in seafood Past Meat, extending the path of untamed tuna, salmon and different predatory ocean species for his or her essential protein provide for people and non-humans.”

He provides that common client consciousness of defending the atmosphere has elevated since various protein was launched to the market, and various seafood firms reminiscent of Present Meals will play a essential position in enhancing sustainability. and the well being of the oceans. “With the earth’s rising inhabitants consuming the meals we love, we’re paying the last word value: world warming, eroding well being and diminishing sources of protein,” Lane mentioned.

The skyrocketing value of seafood within the US because of inflation may additionally profit the choice seafood sector. Recent seafood costs rose 12.1% on common yr over yr to $8.51 per unit in March 2022, current information from IRI and 210 Analytics confirmed. “Seafood is by far the largest value improve phase as a result of they’ve such a wild provide chain,” Prus mentioned, “however we are able to afford to develop our enterprise with wholesome margins.”

Present Meals’ short-term plan is to make tuna obtainable in additional eating places and locations that patrons can simply entry it, and to proceed to develop its salmon enterprise by way of retailers and direct shoppers.

“Our merchandise will get higher and higher,” added Prus. “Sooner or later, we can even launch a salmon fillet that you may prepare dinner at dwelling.”

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