Schouten Europe, an alternative-meat business in the Netherlands, has made its first foray into plant-based seafood.

The company has launched TuNo made from wheat and soy protein to replicate tuna.

The family firm, based in the town of Giessen, said it hopes the product will play a part in protecting endangered tuna species.

Product manager Annemiek Vervoort said: “We see that the demand for fish substitutes is increasing. It makes sense that in addition to replacing meat, people also think about replacing fish. We are starting with a plant-based tuna because we thereby contribute directly to a sustainable solution for a global problem.

“All tuna species are heavily overfished and a large number of species are threatened with extinction. Our vegetable tuna has the same bite and taste as real tuna. The product is suitable for eating cold and is therefore immediately ready to eat for anyone who wants to enjoy the taste of tuna in a sustainable way.”

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By GlobalData

Schouten marketing manager Mark van Noorloos told just-food that the company is planning to expand its faux-seafood offering beyond tuna later this year, with products aping cod and salmon the most likely to be launched.

Schouten said its TuNo product, which took more than a year to develop, will be on the shelves of a “large Dutch retailer” at the end of February. The company plans to sell it internationally with western European countries and the US key target markets.

Its products, such as chicken-style pieces and meat-free mince, have until now been sold mainly under private label in supermarkets both in the Netherlands and abroad. 

Schouten sells its products in 50 countries with a focus on the US and European markets, especially the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, Belgium, France and the Nordic countries.