Meat substitute producer Schouten Europe will be bringing its first fish substitute, a vegetable tuna at the end of this month. “We see a growing need and hope to contribute to the conservation of this endangered species,” says marketing manager Mark van Noorloos.
The company, based in Giessen, has been selling meat substitutes for many years, but only now has fish. “Previously, the demand for vegetable alternatives only came from vegetarians and meat substitutes were much higher on the priority list,” explains Van Noorloos. “However, now it has become quite normal to eat vegetable alternatives. In addition, the technology is constantly evolving.”
He emphasizes that developing a fish substitute entails additional challenges. “Meat is often processed products, but tuna has a taste that comes from the animal itself. In addition, tuna has a specific structure.”
The Vegetarian Butcher came up with a tuna substitute a few years ago. Van Noorloos: “But we think we can handle the competition well, with a product that has an excellent taste and structure.”
Schouten plans to develop several fish substitutes in the future, focusing on the more popular fish species. The tuna substitute will be on the shelf of a large Dutch supermarket at the end of February. The company believes that the other large supermarkets, which are already selling its meat substitutes, will follow later this year.
“ In order to be able to make as much impact as possible, we hope to deploy the tuna substitute on a large-scale international scale soon,” says Van Noorloos. Schouten now exports to more than fifty countries, with a focus on Western Europe and America.