SPRINGDALE, ARK. – Tyson Foods, Inc., through its venture capital arm Tyson Ventures, has invested in New Wave Foods, San Francisco, a manufacturer of plant-based shellfish. Terms of the investment were not announced.
New Wave Foods’ first product iteration is a plant-based shrimp alternative made with seaweed and plant protein. It contains all eight essential amino acids that are found in meats and seafood, according to the company, and it is lower in calories and salt than real shrimp. The company plans to have a shrimp alternative product ready for sale in food service by early 2020.
“We worked with the Culinary Institute of America to set the gold standard for this product and then created a plant-based shrimp that has had rave reviews from the thousands of people who have tasted it,” said Mary McGovern, chief executive officer of New Wave Foods. “Our plant-based shrimp cooks and tastes just like the real thing, and it matches the texture, taste, performance and versatility of shrimp fresh from the ocean.”
Tyson Ventures is a $150 million fund established by the company in 2016. Its portfolio of past and present investments includes plant-based meat alternative maker Beyond Meat, cell-based meat developer Memphis Meats, MycoTechnology, which uses mushrooms to improve the taste and nutrition of products, and others.
This past June Tyson Foods launched a line of blended and plant-based products under the Raised and Rooted brand. Initial product applications sold under the brand include nuggets and burgers.
“We’re excited about this investment in the fast-growing segment of the plant-based protein market,” said Amy Tu, president of Tyson Ventures. “This continues our focus of identifying and investing in companies with disruptive products and breakthrough technologies related to our core business so we can continue to serve a growing global population.”