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New project to further revolutionize plant-based food offerings across North America

February 7, 2024

Protein Industries Canada has announced a new project with Konscious Foods, Avena Foods, and Canadian Pacifico Seaweeds (CPS) to bring new and improved plant-based products to the marketplace. Building off the success of Konscious Foods’ innovative frozen plant-based sushi, this project will amplify the nutritional content of its existing plant-based seafood products while helping the brand bring new innovative products to market.

“There is an ever-growing global demand for seafood, and this project is helping to meet that demand by offering an alternative plant-based option that expands the range of healthy and sustainable food options available to Canadians,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science & Industry. “This project, which is supported by Protein Industries Canada, one of Canada’s global innovation clusters, demonstrates how innovation can address global challenges while contributing to a stronger economy and supply chain.”

“Many folks here in Canada and around the world are looking to include more plant-based options in their diets," added Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. "This investment will help support the continued growth of our agriculture and agri-food industries so that Canada remains a world leader in the growing plant-based food market.”

With this project, Konscious Foods will advance the fortification and commercialization of its existing products, as well as develop an extended range of new offerings out of its state-of-the-art 34,000ft2 facility in Richmond, British Columbia. Using pulse ingredients sourced from Avena in the Prairies, as well as CPS’ locally and sustainably sourced seaweed, this project brings together Canadian-leading ingredient providers to develop superior products. Konscious Foods will also evaluate pulses and grains from other Canadian suppliers and work with multiple universities to enhance the nutritional profile of ingredients and products.

“The innovation showcased by Konscious Foods and its partners is what differentiates Canada in this growing market space," said Bill Greuel, CEO of Protein Industries Canada. "Our ability to have ingredient processors – in this case, Avena – who work directly with farmers, and then loop back to the food processors, is the benefit of Canada’s uniquely integrated value chain. This connection and collaboration, along with the support of the Global Innovation Clusters program, is supporting innovation at an accelerated rate, leading to more successful Canadian companies, the building of new facilities, and the development of new IP that is being commercialized in Canada.”

This project will launch new products that offer consumers unique and exciting options, including nori and tamagoyaki plant-based egg products. Konscious Food’s will also improve the nutritional content of its existing seafood-alternative products, including increased protein and vitamin integration of Omega-3 fatty acids. The total value of this project is CA$5.1 million, with Protein Industries Canada investing up to CA$2.3 million, with the consortium investing the remainder.

“We are grateful for our continued partnership and investment of Protein Industries Canada as we march onwards towards our goal of bringing good-for-you, good-for-the-planet alternatives to the masses,” commented Yves Potvin, Founder & President of Konscious Foods. “Widespread adoption of plant-based foods is simply impossible if we don’t focus on food that tastes good, is made of healthy high-quality ingredients, and is affordable. Protein Industries Canada is connecting our culinary and technical knowledge with locally sourced, best-in-class ingredient partners to advance our mission of transforming how people eat.”

Avena will supply Konscious with new pulse-based ingredients to incorporate into their existing products. As well, through proprietary specialty-milling methods, Avena will be supplying functional pulse ingredients that mimic conventional egg, to be used in a plant-based Japanese-style omelet (Tamagoyaki).

“Konscious Foods is known for innovation. Avena is excited to be a partner offering pulse ingredient solutions that will help Konscious to develop innovative plant-based seafood products for this fast-growing market segment,” said Wayne Arsenault, Avena CEO.

CPS will focus developing a locally sourced nori product, working with local BC farmers to select different types of seaweeds for testing and evaluation, from seedstock to growing and harvesting. CPS will explore and develop a sustainable alternative extraction method to harvest the seaweed for this project in an efficient, zero-waste, eco-friendly and non-hazardous way.

“At Canadian Pacifico Seaweeds, we're honoured to be guided by a pioneering Japanese company, renowned for its innovation in nori snacks,” stated Majid Hajibeigy, Founder & CEO of CPS. “Their expertise sets the gold standard in nori production, enriching our efforts to craft a locally sourced nori product in collaboration with Coastal BC farmers. With sustainability at the forefront, we're charting a course towards an eco-friendly, efficient and non-hazardous alternative extraction method. This partnership underscores our joint commitment to excellence in seaweed cultivation, ensuring a premium, locally produced product for BC and beyond.”

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with us, please email info@futureofproteinproduction.com

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