Vegan sushi is no longer a fantastical dream as plant-based seafood developers work tirelessly to perfect vegan fish products. The food technology company Current Foods – previously known as Kuleana – just announced that its realistic sushi-grade vegan tuna and salmon will soon be available direct-to-consumer. The vegan start-up will make its signature plant-based fish whole cuts available to ship nationwide next month.

Current Foods plans to launch its online shop next month, featuring several products including its signature Kuleana Tuna as well as a new vegan smoked salmon, new seasonal products, and some exclusive offers. The San Francisco start-up set out to create ethically-sourced and environmentally-friendly fish alternatives to combat the global seafood industry.

“This is seafood made from plants that you can eat every day and in every chapter of life—no mercury, no microplastics, no pregnancy restrictions, no planetary strain, and no compromises on taste, texture, or nutritional density,” Current Foods Vice President of Consumer Marketing Adrienne Han told VegNews.

The vegan biotech company was founded in 2019 and has spent the last three years developing plant-based sushi-grade fish that not only replicated the taste and texture of traditional fish but also held a similar nutritional profile. The vegan tuna is made from a proprietary blend of algae, bamboo, potatoes, and radishes, containing plenty of nutrients including omega-3, vitamin B12, and iron. The Kuleana Tuna is available in either poke cubes or fillets, both packaged in 8.8-ounce sizes.

Current Foods recently released an accompaniment to its plant-based tuna, debuting the vegan smoked salmon. The new plant-based salmon also uses the brand’s hero ingredients with the addition of peas for additional protein and will be available in two serving packages. The fillets will be 4-ounce each. Both products have a refrigerated shelf life of seven days that can be extended to 12 months in the freezer.

In 2021 alternative seafood was recognized as one of the fastest-growing plant-based categories on the market. The plant-based seafood industry is expected to reach $1.3 billion by 2031, increasing 13 times its current valuation. As consumers become more interested in sustainable options that will minimize farm fishing worldwide, companies such as Current Foods will continue to gain traction. Last year, TIME Magazine included Current Food’s Kuleana Tuna on its list of the 100 Best Inventions of 2021.

“Tasty and nutritious plant-based alternatives for meat and chicken have been available for years. But seafood? Not so much,” TIME wrote about Current Food’s innovative tuna. “That’s the void that [Current Foods] is trying to fill with its 100-percent plant-based, sushi-grade, ready-to-eat tuna …[and it] retains the iron, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acid of the real thing—without the microplastics, mercury, or high cholesterol. And the benefits are more than nutritional—it may also help to alleviate reliance on industrial fishing in the face of increasing demand for fresh food.”

The groundbreaking vegan tuna has also been making an impact on the foodservice industry nationwide. Before launching its delivery and online shopping service, the company partnered with several restaurant chains including Sushi Sake Grill and Poke Bar. The Kuleana Tuna’s popularity can be attributed to its versatility, monopolizing an untapped sector of plant-based seafood. Now, foodservice providers can use the Current Foods products to substitute fish in sushi, ceviche, sashimi, and carpaccio.

Current Foods even expanded into in-person and online retail before launching it own platform. Alongside select grocery store locations, the plant-based tuna can also be purchased on the online retailer GTFO It’s Vegan. With positive reviews from the media and consumers, Current Foods intends to ramp up its national expansion and increase its accessibility to its inventive new protein.

“Our restaurant and grocery partners continue to come up with delicious and inventive ways to prepare our plant-based seafood,” Han said. “In 2022, we’re making Current Foods even more accessible via [direct to consumer] and retail, so the catch of tomorrow can be enjoyed in the current … whenever and however, from the comfort of home.”

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