In its quest to embrace more environmentally friendly practices, the John West tuna brand owned by Thai Union, is targeting the 42% Dutch flexitarian market with its 100% plant-based vegan tuna products - one with tomato basil and the other in oil.
Arno Snoey, country manager for John West, Holland, says the introduction of fish-free option alongside traditional seafood products gives consumers the choice of enjoying John West products and flavours through alternative protein.
'There is a huge opportunity to connect with consumers of all ages who pursue a flexitarian lifestyle and we’re very excited to transform the category, while offering our core tuna shoppers the opportunity to try a completely new and delicious fish-free ‘tuna’ experience,' says Arno Snoey.
The 166-year old company is actively exploring plant-based and lab-grown alternatives to ocean fish protein, aligning with its commitment to sustainability in the seafood industry. This exciting development underscores the Thai seafood giant's continued efforts to embrace more environmentally friendly practices.
The company's European Marine Protein unit director, Jon Burton, is enthusiastic about a global roll-out later this year.
'John West Vegan Fish-Free Tuna is Thai Union's first branded alternative protein product launch worldwide and therefore a major milestone for us', says Jon Burton.
The rapid growth of the vegan "seafood" market has been remarkable, with a valuation of $42.1 million in 2021. Analysts predict an exponential surge, projecting the market to reach a staggering $1.3 billion by 2031.
John West Australia accounts for over 43% of the supply of canned tuna in Australia, most of which comes from the West Central Pacific Ocean.
Source: John West - Vegan Tuna Recipe Ideas.
Responding to this burgeoning demand, several start-ups are honing their focus on the development of plant-based alternatives mimicking prawns, salmon, and various other marine delicacies. In 2021, Thai Union unveiled plant-based seafood options, including dim sum, crabcakes, and shrimp, specifically for the Thai food service market.
Furthermore, Thai Union has established partnerships with Aleph Farms and BlueNalu, leading cultivated meat and seafood producers, with the intention of introducing cultivated proteins to the Asian market.
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