In the last few years, we’ve seen more and more companies exploring new ways of producing and selling food that is both ethical and sustainable – and Sophie’s Kitchen is one of those brands leading the way with its gourmet vegan seafood products.
CEO Miles Woodruff shares with us why it’s more important than ever that other companies follow suit.
What exactly is plant-based seafood?
Plant-based seafood is a protein that’s almost indistinguishable from its animal-based counterparts. For years, options for plant-based protein included only facsimiles of beef, poultry, or pork. Today, consumer demand is growing exponentially – which is great news for us and our oceans.
Our products currently include smoked salmon, crab cakes, shrimp, fish fillets, and Toona – which resembles canned tuna.
The term ‘plant-based’ was on trend for a while – is there space for more growth?
There’s tremendous room for growth and we’re seeing it every day. In fact, I don’t see it stopping. Last August, Bloomberg Intelligence released a report that projected meteoric growth in the global plant-based foods market, projecting possible retail sales of $162 billion by 2030.
People need protein but more and more consumers are demanding nutritious and enjoyable food that doesn’t contain animal products, without having to sacrifice taste and texture.
As consumers, we’re more aware of the problems that the fishing industry perpetuates. Does your solution reduce the impact on the environment?
Certainly – plant-based products are providing seafood lovers with an alternative. There are no ghost nets and there’s no illegal fishing in marine-protected areas. That’s a win-win for the environment and consumers.
One of the issues consumers have with plant-based products is that they’re typically more expensive than heavily industrialized foods, and not as readily available. How can that gap be closed?
That’s a great point, but as the market grows, we’re going to see more economies of scale. In fact, there’s a huge investment opportunity when it comes to increasing manufacturing capacity. But with those opportunities come a need to continually improve the product.
Our research and development team is always refining the taste, textures, and appearance of our products to appeal to consumers’ collective palates. I don’t know if the gap will completely close, but we’re definitely committed to playing a role in the global effort to bring costs down.
What are Sophie’s Kitchen plans for the future?
We’re going to keep pushing ourselves to create the most amazing, clean, plant-based seafood that offers Omega-3s, and is always preservative-, gluten-, and soy-free, and non-GMO.
More and more consumers – whether they’re vegans, vegetarians, meat-eaters, and even pescatarians – are waking up to the stark reality regarding our planet’s limited resources. We think making delicious plant-based seafood is a great way for consumers to eat more sustainably, a boon for their health and the planet’s.