- Plantish unveiled whole-cut plant-based salmon fillets, which will be launching at pop-up locations later this year and officially hit the market in 2024. Founded in March 2021, the company emerged from stealth Thursday with images of the plant-based salmon fillets, which look very similar to those from actual fish.
- The company, which is based in Israel and is targeting the United States as its primary market, raised $2 million in a pre-seed round last year. It was led by TechAviv Founder Partners, which is a venture fund backed by prominent companies, founders and philanthropists. The company says Plantish Salmon has the same nutritional value as actual salmon, and can be used in any way traditional salmon would.
- The alternative seafood space is just starting to take off, and analysts say it has vast potential. According to a study from The Good Food Institute, plant-based seafood made up just 0.1% of all of the retail dollar sales in the seafood segment in 2020.
While seafood alternatives have been slow to catch on among consumers at large, products like Plantish Salmon can help boost their popularity and intrigue. This kind of product not only looks like an actual fish fillet, but it's also mimicking the most eaten fish in the United States. According to information released last year from the National Fisheries Institute, per capita consumption of salmon was 3.1 pounds in 2019, more than any seafood item except shrimp.
Plantish's salmon is made from legume proteins and algae extracts, the company says. It is created through additive manufacturing technology, which is another way of saying 3D printing. In a written statement, the company said it is seeking a patent for technology that it claimed can produce fish alternatives at a low cost and high scale.
If Plantish can also replicate actual salmon from a nutritional standpoint — the company says its salmon alternative is high in protein, omega-3s, omega-6s and B vitamins — it will be an immediate draw for consumers.
And Plantish has a four-founder team that is experienced in different aspects of the plant-based, chemistry and 3D printing space. CEO Ofek Ron had leadership roles with Israeli nonprofit Vegan Friendly, which promotes the adoption of a vegan diet. Chief Science Officer Ron Sicsic was a co-founder of biofuel startup Enviro Advanced Energy. R&D Head Hila Elimelech has a Ph.D. in materials chemistry and has worked with 3D printing for the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Chief Technical Officer Ariel Szklanny recently received his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering. And Eyal Briller, the founding board director of Plantish, is the former director of product at plant-based titan Impossible Foods.
There have not been many plant-based salmon analogs on the market thus far, but that's already changing not even two weeks into 2022. Good Catch, one of the larger plant-based seafood brands, just announced the launch of its plant-based salmon burgers, which is its first foray into the pink-fleshed fish.
While there are not many plant-based seafood products that look as close to the real thing as Plantish Salmon, makers of both plant-based meat — as well as fermented meat analogs, which have different structures altogether — do have some time to catch up. Plantish will be available to tasters later this year, but will not hit the wider market until 2024. When it launches, consumers may have an ocean's worth of more realistic-looking seafood analogs to choose from.