Swedish startup Hooked Seafood AB plans to launch vegan shredded salmon and tuna in Europe—two of the most consumed seafood products in the region. The company is still perfecting the salmon recipe, which is made with soy protein isolate, seaweed and algae, algal oil (to fortify it with omega-3 fatty acids), carrots for color, and smoked ingredients for added flavor.
Hooked was founded in 2019 by entrepreneurs Emil Wasteson and Tom Johansson, who realized that there were few vegan products that rivaled traditional seafood in taste and nutrition. In their research, the founders learned about the destructive practices of the global seafood industry, such as overfishing (which is endangering many species); the overuse of antibiotics on shrimp farms; and the presence of mercury and microplastics in sea animals.
“It became obvious that the current seafood industry is environmentally unsustainable, and that seafood consists of more toxins than ever before,” Johansson told FoodNavigator. “We found that the problem with shrimp is essentially the same for tuna and salmon. The issue lies in producing as much as possible for as low cost as possible. Demand is growing for seafood, what is [compromised] is the health of the animals and the planet.”
Hooked was recently accepted to the 2020 class of Berlin-based incubator ProVeg International, where it received €20,000 ($22,760) to fund the development of its company. While Hooked is still finalizing its shredded vegan salmon, it plans to launch its vegan tuna product first in collaboration with a co-packer in the Netherlands through the foodservice sector before eventually expanding to retail. Hooked also plans to develop vegan shrimp and calamari in its mission to become the leading plant-based seafood company in Europe.