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Packaged Food Plant-Based Products Science What's New

Current Foods Just Set A Guinness World Record with Plant-Based Ceviche

Photo: Current Foods

Current Foods has been making major waves with their wildly innovative take on plant-based seafood. Using science, along with boundless imagination, the new company has created products with the taste, texture, and appearance of actual seafood. Besides great flavors, their products are packed with nutrition that includes omega-3, iron, and vitamin B-12.

Choosing to not go with the flow, Current Foods is charting territory previously avoided by other brands that offer plant-based seafood. The best part is the ingredients, which are simple and easy to pronounce. For texture, they use bamboo and potato. Radish and tomato provide the color, while protein comes from algae and peas. 

Photo: Current Foods

For people with plant-based lifestyles or those interested in including more greens into their diets, this is the sunken treasure we’ve been waiting for. Their initial offerings include Current Tuna, which is available in four flavors: Original, Roasted Sesame, Yuzu Chipotle, and Ginger Tamarind. The second offering is their Current Salmon and comes in Smoked Black Pepper and Original Smoked. 

After a soft-launch last year, Current Foods is preparing to flood the US market. They were just awarded the Guinness World Records title for alternative seafood, a notable achievement.

To secure the title, they crafted a massive, record-setting 589 pounds of plant-based ceviche using their signature Current Tuna. Following the achievement, the ceviche was distributed to food programs around the Bay Area. Jacek Prus, CEO and co-founder of Current Foods expresses the significance of the recognition:

“Having Current Foods be forever part of GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS is representative of our company goal to blend the inventive with the familiar and reimagine the way we eat. GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS is a storied institution. Seafood is a diet staple. Seafood made from plants however, is what we hope to make a new classic. And, we want to do this in a big way. Literally and figuratively.”

Prus founded the company in 2019 along with food technologist and Chief Science Officer, Sònia Hurtado.

Photo: Current Foods

Current Foods’ products are not only made for vegans, but for all diet lifestyles. They provide the benefits of actual seafood without the mercury or micro-plastics. Pre-order for their Original Tuna Cubes and Original Tuna Filet is now available. You can use the promo code: nextfrontier to get 4 packs for the price of 3.

Expect a wider release this year as they roll out nationwide to restaurants, retail, and e-commerce. Fans can follow their journey here, I’ve no doubt they’ll be making even bigger splashes in the future.

Plant-based seafood is here to stay and growing, making for an exciting time in food innovation.

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Packaged Food Plant-Based What's New

First Taste: OmniFoods’ Plant-Based Fish Fillets

The recent Natural Products Expo West show in Anaheim, California was brimming with innovation and sustainable creativity in the food space. Exciting products were everywhere and one that particularly stood out was what OmniFoods had to offer.

For those not familiar, OmniFoods introduced plant-based pork innovation with products like ground pork, pulled pork, and SPAM-style luncheon meat, which we covered last year. The latest from them, however, proved to be a jaw-dropper.

At Expo West, I had a chance to get an inside scoop on OmniFoods’ new Golden Fillets, which are plant-based battered fish-style fillets. My reaction in the video clip above conveys my thoughts on the product perfectly. Not only did the Golden Fillets capture the flaky texture and taste of actual fish fillets, I was in disbelief that they were 100 percent plant-based. The sorcery here is strong, friends.

If you’re on the hook and as intrigued as I am, OmniFoods is aiming for a summer 2022 launch of the Golden Fillets, so stay tuned for further updates.

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Packaged Food Plant-Based Sweets What's New

Trader Joe’s Selling a Black Tea Boba Frozen Dessert

Spotted in the wild by none other than @traderjoeslist is a new Trader Joe’s non-dairy dessert called Black Tea & Boba Coconut Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert.

As the caption indicates, this new Trader Joe’s item is vegan and gluten free and includes tapioca pearls in the frozen treat.

This new item is sure to have boba fans and those looking for vegan and gluten free desserts super excited — which makes for another hyped Trader Joe’s item, per the usual.

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Drinks Packaged Food Plant-Based Products

Ghost Town Oats is the First Ever Black-Owned Oat Milk

In the race to be the world’s pre-eminent milk alternative, oat milk has been gaining headway. That’s not surprising as oat milk offers more fiber and protein than any other alt-milk options and its oat base is more familiar to the average palate. A closer look reveals it has more health benefits than dairy milk as well. 

Joining the alt-milk crusade is Ghost Town Oats, the world’s first Black-owned oat milk. It was founded by Michelle Johnson along with her partners who collectively share 40 years in the barista industry. Johnson herself is the first Black woman to qualify for the US Barista Championships, where contestants are given only 15 minutes to prepare cafe classics for a panel of judges. Their hope is to bridge the gap between minority communities and plant-based milk. 

Being Black, I’m keenly aware of the health issues which impact our community. Most things are harmless in moderation, but can have negative effects depending on your lifestyle choice. For reasons too many to name, the lifestyle communities of color tend to live is often unhealthy. As a result, people of color are more likely to experience lactose intolerance, along with other health issues. Ghost Town Oats hopes to help change that by making a dairy alternative that’s accessible and approachable to marginalized communities.

Ghost Town Oats is made to pack an exceptional taste that pairs nicely with your coffee and espresso favs. Releasing this spring, you can find when and how to get your hands on some here.

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Packaged Food Plant-Based

Harvard Graduate Launches Plant-Based Instant Ramen

Instant ramen has been a staple in many of our lives for as long as we could remember. It’s very affordable, comes in several flavor options and can be enjoyed as is or with a custom twist. As a kid I would spruce things up, mix and match flavor packets or add a protein; hot dogs were my favorite. It might’ve even been one of the first foods I learned how to make for myself. Much like many others, it would keep me fed through my college years and when I first began living on my own.

Although I remember those days fondly, I’d come to find that instant ramen tends to be very high in sodium. One package contains 1760 mg, or 88% of the 2-gram recommendation suggested by WHO. That’s oodles and oodles of sodium. Because of that, as an older and more health conscious person, I still enjoy ramen but rarely eat the instant variety. 

With health becoming more of a focus in our daily lives, it’s no surprise someone found a way to marry our love for instant ramen with our desire for healthier alternatives. Founded by Harvard Business alum Isabel Khoo, NOODIE is a new plant-based instant ramen. It’s served in the single-serve style we’re all accustomed to, yet features real whole vegetables (kale, bok choy, and broccoli), non-fried spirulina jade noodles and MSG-free broth and sauce. 

Inspired by her grandmother’s recipe, Khoo, like many of us, had an instant-ramen-filled college experience. After realizing that the ingredients contained harmful additives, artificial powdered flavors and processed carbohydrates, she decided to be the change she wanted to see in her single-serve cup.

In addition to whole vegetables, each NOODIE cup is recyclable and includes 16g of protein, a fraction of the sodium found in leading instant noodle brands and NOODIE’s flavors; Peanut Chili (Vegan), Tonkotsu (Vegan), and Smoky Garlic (Vegetarian).  

NOODIE’s irresistible instant-noodles are now available online at getnoodie.com in packs of 3 or more, starting at $21.99–also available via Foxtrot, Neighborhood Goods, and Jokr.

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Fast Food Plant-Based Restaurants

Mapo Tofu’s Spicy, Addictive Heat Goes Plant-Based At Panda Express

Photo courtesy of Panda Express

Few things are more comforting in life than a steamy bowl of mapo tofu. This classic Sichuan dish has a warm and addictive heat that will leave your heart and your stomach buzzing with happiness.

For the first time ever, those flavors are coming to Panda Express, as the American Chinese chain is adding the Chengdu signature to its ranks as part of a new plant-based partnership with Beyond Meat.

This dish marks the second ever tofu dish to be served at Panda Express, the first being their hallmark Eggplant Tofu. Here, they’re incorporating tofu and chunks of Beyond Beef in a Sichuan Garlic sauce.

Traditionally, mapo tofu is made with pork or beef, although there are plenty of plant-based versions you can find on the internet. Some of these use finely chopped mushrooms or a ground pork substitute, but Beyond Meat is also a common option.

Panda Express has begun serving the Mapo Tofu with Beyond Beef at their innovation kitchen location in Pasadena. It’ll be there until February 23rd alongside a String Beans with Beyond Beef dish, and if both perform well, there’s definitely potential for the dishes to launch on a broader scale.

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Fast Food News Plant-Based What's New

McDonald’s Plans to Increase McPlant Availability to About 600 U.S. Locations in February

Starting on February 14, McDonald’s will be rolling out its new McPlant burger to around 600 locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth and San Francisco Bay areas.

The McPlant started as a test run at eight McDonald’s locations beginning in November 2021, and is a plant-based patty from Beyond Meat Inc. This new offering features plant-based ingredients like peas, rice and potatoes and will be available for a limited time only.

McDonald’s stated that the test run expansion was due in part “to help us understand customer demand” and “its impact to restaurant operations.”

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Drinks Packaged Food Plant-Based What's New

Silk Nextmilk May Be The Dairy Alternative You Have Been Waiting For

When I decided to switch to a plant-based lifestyle, one thing I definitely remember is the adjustment period. My mother practically raised us vegetarian, so I imagine the transition wasn’t as challenging for me as it was for others. For better or for worse, many of those healthy habits flew out the window when I left the nest. It’d be at least another 10 years before I found my way back to greener pastures. 

While many foods stick the landing perfectly fine, meats and dairy have always had more shaky dismounts. Consistency and taste have persisted as caveats in these experiments. Thankfully, in recent years there have been major strides made. And now, a new challenger has entered the non-dairy octagon. 

Popular brand Silk has released their latest creation, Nextmilk. This latest non-dairy innovation is made using creamy oatmilk and a plant-based blend featuring soy and coconuts, includes six key nutrients found in dairy, and offers Whole Fat and Reduced Fat options. I had the opportunity to taste the new offering and can honestly say it’s really good. It comes as no surprise that the flavor is more balanced than most milk alternatives I’ve tried. In my experience, Silk always does a great job at capturing full flavor profiles in their products. 

It should go without saying that Silk Nextmilk is lactose-free. It’s also Non-GMO Project Verified and has 30% less calories than dairy milk. If you’re looking to reduce your amount of dairy intake, but haven’t found a suitable alternative, stop by your local grocery store and try out the new Silk Nextmilk.