Hooked Foods helping lead the rising tide with plant-based seafood

Hooked Foods Co-Founder Tom Johansson. Image credit: Erick Payne.

More people across the world are dipping into the plant-based foods trend, which industry experts anticipate will continue to explode in growth. In Sweden, startup Hooked Foods is providing a mouth-watering plant-based alternative to seafood.

“We’re estimated to eat more fish than we ever have,” Hooked Foods Co-Founder Tom Johansson said. “We’re expected to eat 30 percent more in the next 10 years, so the wild harvest is under a lot of pressure.”

Johansson says improvements to fish farms have been promising, but he doesn’t believe it will be enough to solve the inevitable sustainability problem.

“Plant-based foods are much more disruptive,” Johansson said. “We go directly to the sources that you can scale without harming our planet, and we’re not working with living animals.”

“We’re doing our best to keep the great taste profile that I love about seafood”

Bloomberg Intelligence Research says the global plant-based alternatives market could swell to $162 billion by 2030, up from $29.4 billion in 2020. Analysts point to concerns about sustainably feeding a growing global population that is helping to fuel this increase.

Hooked is riding these rapidly rising tides, and is now targeting $10 million in Series A funding to spur its expansion in Europe. The company raised $4.5 million last year in its second round of funding.

“We have distribution growth, fabrication growth, and we also have studies that consumers like the brand, they like the product,” Johansson said. “With the team we’ve built, we’re really confident that we have something that works.”

Eager to expand internationally

The company’s plant-based seafood products are now available in more than 75 percent of Swedish retailers.

Hooked recently launched in Iceland and signed a distributor for Finland. Johansson says they’re talking with potential partners in other Nordic countries, and are eager to expand into Germany as well.

Johansson says they have the ambition to be the leaders of the alternative seafood category, and they feel the industry is moving in the right direction.

“A lot is going to happen in the next 10 years,” Johansson said. “We want to be part of that whole change and make sure seafood is on the agenda with other great companies.”

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