New Wave Foods & # 39; plant-based shrimp
Source: New Wave Foods
After selling its stake in Beyond Meat in the spring, Tyson Foods is & # 39; next game on plant-based shellfish.
Tyson Ventures, the venture capital arm of the meat processing company, invests in New Wave Foods. Tyson Ventures CFO Tom Mastrobuoni declined to discuss the financial terms, but said Tyson took a minority stake of less than 20% in New Wave.
The startup, which was founded in 201
"I tasted it for the first time at a cafe in Palo Alto, and I had no idea I was eating plant-based shrimp," Mastrobuoni said.
After shrimp, New Wave plans to tackle crab and lobster. Shrimp is the most consumed seafood in the world, according to co-founder and technology manager Michelle Wolf.
"From a business perspective, it made sense because of the market opportunity," Wolf said.
While there are a number of companies that tackle plant-based fish such as salmon or tuna alternatives, New Wave is one of the few trying to sell crustacean replacements. Mastrobuoni said the lack of competition made New Wave a more attractive investment.
Tyson will leverage its scope and network to accelerate New Wave growth.
"We've been saying this all along – alternative protein is a & # 39; and" Concept for Tyson, it's not a & # 39; or & # 39 ;, "said Mastrobuoni.
Currently, New Wave Foods & # 39; distribution limited to three serving locations instead of restaurants, CEO Mary McGovern said the company plans to target food serving first, in part because 80% of shrimp consumption occurs outside the home.
New Wave is Tyson Venture's ninth investment since Mastrobuoni declined to disclose all of the fund's results.
Before Beyond Meat went public in May, Tyson sold its stake in the company as it prepared to launch its own plant-based meat products, including imitation of chicken nuggets. Beyond Meat's original public offering, the stock has risen 554%.
Tyson is far from the only Big Food company with its own venture arm: Kellogg, General Mills, Kraft Heinz and Campbell Soup has own investment fund.
Tyson is not the only traditional food company branching into plant-based foods. Hormel and Kellogg announced plans Wednesday to produce plant-based meat labels.