83 percent of the population is concerned about the ocean and pollution, but Americans still eat over 1.5 billion pounds of shrimp every single year. That's why Netherlands-based Vegan Finest Foods is producing near-identical seafood products made entirely from plants. Most recently, the company debuted a selection of plant-based shrimp products that replicate the taste, texture and look of conventional shrimp.

Vegan Finest Foods released the Shrimpz Family selection under its signature Vegan Zeastar brand. The new plant-based shrimp products will feature three flavors: Crispy Chili Shrimpz, Crispy Lemon Shrimpz, and regular Vegan Shrimpz, The three plant-based seafood products are made from soy and wheat ingredients.

This week, the company debuted its Crispy Lemon Shrimpz at the beloved Dutch retailer Jumbo. Customers can purchase these plant-based shrimp at local retail locations or online. The shrimp will also be available at Hanos, VHSC Boys, and Bidfood.

Vegan Finest Foods launched the Shrimpz Family selection shortly after the Global Shrimp Forum, which highlighted the damaging consequences of the growing shrimp industry in the Netherlands.

Realistic Vegan Seafood

The Shrimpz Family is the latest plant-based seafood to join Vegan Zeastar's growing selection. The company first debuted its Vegan sashimi in 2019 with its No Tuna and No Salmon. These innovative alternatives received a PETA Vegan Food Award. The plant-based products are designed to replicate the texture and taste of sushi-grade fish products. The company has expanded its distribution to the United Kingdom and Spain.

The company also debuted a vegan fried "cod" product similar to the traditional fish and chips dish. The Tasty Codd launched with vegan remoulade sauce, providing shoppers with a full plant-based seafood experience.

"Our mission is to get frequent fish-eaters hooked on vegan fish too. The biggest challenge in creating sustainable fish substitutes is getting the texture right," Rody van Kuijen, co-founder of Vegan Finest Foods told Vegconomist at the time. We have invested a lot of time into developing the typical fishy and flaky texture. The first reactions are very positive and now everyone can taste our first vegan cod.”

For the best plant-based seafood available, check out our Beet Meter for the top vegan seafood. 

Commercial Fishing is Destroying the Oceans

Last March, Netflix released a documentary exposing the dangers of the seafood industry entitled SeaspiracyThe documentary emphasized that at the current rate of fishing, the ocean will likely be completely empty by 2048. The documentary also claims that commercial fishing nets make up 46 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Commercial fishing is also contributing to the number of toxins and microplastics polluting the ocean. One study found that consuming seafood impacted by this pollution is linked to an increased risk of skin cancer.

The Growing Plant-Based Seafood Market

Shortly after Seaspiracy premiered, Good Catch secured $26 million to help expand its plant-based seafood development. The plant-based fish market could reach a top valuation of $1.3 billion by 2031. With the help of innovative food brands including the Plant Based Food Co. and Vegan Zeastar, consumers can find almost all their favorite seafood dishes made completely with plants such as tuna, salmon, and even crab.

Good Catch's vegan seafood features only six ingredients: Peas, chickpeas, lentils, soy, fava beans, and navy beans. The company intends to provide customers with a healthy, sustainable alternative to the most commonly bought seafood products, including canned or packaged tuna.

Other companies have developed more technologically advanced methods of replicating seafood products. For example, Revo Foods has developed a 3-D printing technology that allows the company to produce an ultra-realistic vegan salmon fillet.

For more plant-based happenings, visit The Beet's News articles. 

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