Canadian plant-based firm Above Food has acquired plant-based seafood manufacturer Atlantic Natural Foods in a deal worth more than $30 million (€25.9 million).

The agreement was unanimously approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.

Nashville-based Atlantic has production facilities in the United States and Thailand. Its brands are on sale in more than 25,000 retail locations in 30 countries.

They include plant-based and shelf-stable ready meals lines sold under the Loma Linda brand, plant-based seafood brand Tuno, and Neat, an egg substitute and plant-protein mix.

Tuno is just one of a growing number of alternative seafood items hitting the market, some with significant backing.

Plant-based food sales have boomed, growing 27 percent in 2020, according to new data released April 6 by the Good Food Institute (GFI) and the Plant-Based Foods Association, compiled by market research firm SPINS.

Sales of plant-based seafood climbed 23 percent in 2020 to $12 million (€10 million), Michael Robbins of the Plant Based Foods Association told IntraFish.

In 2019, GFI reported plant-based seafood accounted for $9.5 million (€8 million) of total plant-based meat dollar sales, tiny in comparison to the more than $100 billion of seafood sold in the United States annually.

The retail market for plant-based foods overall in the United States is now worth $7 billion (€5.9 billion), up from $5.5 billion (€4.6 billion) in 2019.

Last year, 57 percent of households bought plant-based foods, up from 53 percent in 2019, said the study.

Plant-based foods are now a key driver of sales growth at grocery retailers nationwide, growing twice as fast as overall food sales, said the GFI.