Long John Silver's, one of the largest seafood restaurant chains in the United States, is now selling plant-based seafood at five locations in California and Georgia.
In partnership with Gathered Foods, makers of the Good Catch brand of plant-based seafood, Long John Silver's is menuing Good Catch's plant-based breaded fish-free fillets and breaded crab-free crabcakes.
"We're excited to propel change in quick-service restaurants by teaming up with Long John Silver's," says Christine Mei, CEO of Gathered Foods.
The plant-based items are made from a six-legume blend of peas, chickpeas, lentils, soy, fava beans and navy beans.
"We're proud to have their plant-based products on our menu as a way to open our doors to a wider customer base who want to experience tasty seafood products in a more sustainable way," said Christopher Caudill, vice president, of Marketing for Long John Silver's. "These Long John Silver's menu additions are the first plant-based seafood offerings in a national chain, representing change in the seafood and restaurant industry."
Earlier this month, Good Catch challenged customers of US-based sandwich chain Subway to go fish-free by handing out vegan tuna subs outside stores in London, New York, Austin, and Texas.
The marketing stunt followed a recent New York Times investigation that claimed that no tuna DNA was present in Subway’s tuna subs. Subway CEO John Chidsey disputed the claim and directed consumers to a new website the company put up to address questions regarding its tuna.
In April, Gathered Foods secured nearly $26.4 (€22.2 million) in funding to expand its product line and presence in the consumer market.
Investors included the Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), Unovis Asset Management and Big Idea Ventures.
"LDC’s global reach, supply chain management, R&D capabilities and procurement expertise will be key to Gathered Foods’ ability to broaden its global footprint and bring new building blocks to our expanding portfolio of offerings," said Chris Kerr, co-founder and executive chairman of Gathered Foods.
Since securing $36.8 million (€31 million) in funding two years ago, the company has opened its own plant-based production facility in Heath, Ohio. It also expanded its distribution footprint on an international scale with its Tesco launch in the United Kingdom.
Good Catch products are sold through Tesco, in Canada through partnerships with Loblaws and Sobeys, and in Europe throughout retailers in the Netherlands and Spain.
The company has a joint distribution venture with Bumble Bee Foods, as well as backing from celebrities Woody Harrelson, Shailene Woodley, Paris Hilton and Lance Bass.
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