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New Wave Foods

In the not-so-distant past, odd things began to happen to America’s favorite meats and seafoods. Burgers became “impossible.” Chicken transformed into “chick’n.” And, in a development that would surely puzzle the denizens of Bikini Bottom, “crabless cakes” began to appear on menus.

Clearly, plant-based meats are getting big. A California-based company, however, is staking out a piece of the action by thinking small. Very small.

New Wave Foods, a provider of plant-based shellfish substitutes, has launched plant-based shrimp to North American restaurants and foodservice companies under a non-exclusive agreement with Dot Foods. The pre-cooked shrimp made with sustainable seaweed and plant proteins could soon be appearing in restaurant favorites like bruschetta and nachos, or entrees such as chowder, tacos, pasta and Kung Pao.

“We know that commercial and non-commercial foodservice operators need to continue to excite their guests with innovative food products, and plant-based food is the largest growing segment,” said Rodd Willis, Dot Foods director of natural and specialty products. “New Wave Shrimp is an extremely unique product — a true game-changer in the seafood industry. We believe that it is a great plant-based alternative to ocean shrimp as an ingredient, and that it delivers on the needs of foodservice operators for menu versatility and quality.”

New Wave Foods, whose investors include Tyson, said its shrimp product is free from shellfish and soy allergens, as well as gluten-free, non-GMO and kosher. No word on whether the company tried to recreate the annoying shells and numerous little legs of authentic shrimp, but we hope not.

Shrimp are the most-consumed seafood in America. Food industry analyst Datassential estimates we eat 1.5 billion pounds of the petite crustaceans annually. New Wave Shrimp and Dot are counting on earning a bite of that market.

“Given Dot Foods’ vast foodservice distribution coverage, this partnership provides New Wave Foods with immediate national availability while demonstrating Dot’s belief in the growth of plant-based eating and New Wave’s product offering,” said Mary McGovern, New Wave Foods CEO.

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