Fish substitutes are taking the UK by storm. In 2017, the fish alternatives category was worth just over £2m. Remarkably, this value reached £5.1m in 2021 and this is only forecasted to grow. So, move over veggie nuggets and plant-based burgers, there is a new fish in town!
From plant-based filet-o-fish burgers, to goujons and prawns, we’re seeing an increase of vegan fish substitutes in our supermarkets as consumers are demanding more choice. Some of the biggest supermarkets in the UK now have their own vegan fish alternatives. Brands include Wicked Kitchen at Tesco, M&S Plant Kitchen, Asda Plant-Based,Sainsbury’s Plant Pioneers and upcoming brand’s such as Omnifoods and Sophie’s Kitchen.
Why are fish substitutes becoming so popular?
From worries about the environment, to rising health and wellbeing concerns, the fish industry has faced multiple challenges in recent years.
Growing consumer awareness around overfishing is a major reason why substitutes are in demand. Cult documentaries such as Netflix’s Seaspiracy, which claims that there is no such thing as sustainable fishing, is a significant contributor influencing consumer behaviour.
However, it’s younger consumers in particular who are driving the rise in alternatives, with individuals investing in a more plant-based diet in a bid to preserve the planet’s resources and help reduce global warming.
Popularity of other plant-based products, such as meat substitutes and milk, has spurred companies to making huge investments into this area. New manufacturing techniques are also making it easier for companies to produce fish substitutes from food such as peas, algae, soy and jackfruit.
What products are we seeing on the market?
When you’re next doing your weekly shop, take a look at the increase in products and brands that have jumped on this trend., What’s great is that many of the products have proven to be effective fish alternatives without the taste, quality or nutritional value being compromised. So, which products should you be putting on your trolley?
If you’re missing fish and chips and want to recreate this popular British dish, then there’s a range of delicious fish substitutes that can easily replace the traditional battered cod. Our two favourites are the ‘’TKC Veg Cod Fillet’’ or Quorn’s salt & vinegar fishless fillet. You definitely won’t be missing the chippy when you serve these alternatives alongside mushy peas and curry sauce.
A favourite amongst parents and children are fish fingers. Now you can get Quorn fishless fingers online and in virtually any supermarket. This popular substitute hits the spot every time, with a delicious crispy coating and we promise that you will hardly notice the difference when you next make a classic fish finger sandwich.
Plant-based tuna is another product that has risen in popularity. Popular brands include Good Catch, which creates a tuna alternative made from beans, legumes, and algae. Served with veganise, this product is ideal for a fish free tuna toastie or niçoise salad.
Last year, Vrimp by Nestlé was launched, which according to the Guardian, highlighted how the food industry was getting serious about this topic with such a big hitter getting involved in the action. This seafood product is made from seaweed and peas, promising an ‘authentic texture’ and flavour. Other popular seafood products include Nature’s Charm vegan calamari, Zeastar Shrimpz and FRYS battered prawn-style pieces.
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