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Tyson Ventures invests in plant-based shellfish

TAGS: Business
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Company to produce plant-based shellfish products for foodservice operators.

Tyson Foods Inc., through its corporate venture subsidiary Tyson Ventures, has completed an investment in New Wave Foods, a San Francisco, Cal.-based company focused on producing plant-based shellfish. The company plans to have a shrimp alternative ready for foodservice operators in early 2020.

“We’re excited about this investment in the fast-growing segment of the plant-based protein market,” Tyson Ventures president Amy Tu said. “This continues our focus of identifying and investing in companies with disruptive products and breakthrough technologies related to our core business so we can continue to serve a growing global population.”

Mary McGovern, chief executive officer of New Wave Foods, said, “We worked with the Culinary Institute of America to set the gold standard for this product and then created a plant-based shrimp that has had rave reviews from the thousands of people who have tasted it. Our plant-based shrimp cooks and tastes just like the real thing, and it matches the texture, taste, performance and versatility of shrimp fresh from the ocean. The proof is in the overwhelming positive response we have had to the product.”

New Wave Foods' product is based on co-founder and chief technology officer Michelle Wolf’s extensive collaboration with a team of some of the most experienced research and development professionals in the U.S., which included leading food scientists as well as academics. The company’s first offering, a plant-based shrimp, is made with sustainably sourced seaweed and plant protein and contains all eight essential amino acids that are found in all meat and seafood. It also contains no allergens, zero cholesterol and is lower in both calories and salt than traditional shrimp.

“Our product is a delicious, one-for-one direct swap for the real thing and interchangeable in a wide range of recipes,” McGovern said. “It gives chefs and foodservice operators great menu options while addressing consumers’ growing demand for sustainable choices.”

New Wave Foods currently expects to announce the launch of its Series A round in the near future.

In June, Tyson Foods announced its own alternative protein products under the Raised & Rooted brand, led by Justin Whitmore, executive vice president of alternative proteins and chief sustainability officer for the company. The initial Raised & Rooted products include nuggets made from plants, slated to be available in 5,000 retail stores by the end of September, and blended burgers made with a combination of beef and plants that will be available this fall.

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