Gathered Foods, makers of the Good Catch brand of plant-based seafood alternatives, on Thursday launched what it says is the first-to-market, US-made plant-based salmon burger.

The popularity of salmon in the US market drove the company to develop the product, it said in a press statement.

"Good Catch was determined to create an innovative alternative for the most consumed fish in the US."

The new product, the company said, mimics salmon's texture and flavor, and supplies 16 grams of plant protein. The burger, it added, "is a delicious easy meal to prepare without the unwanted fishy smell once cooked."

The product is being sold through United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI), a leading North American natural and organic grocery wholesale distributor.

"Through our distribution partnership with UNFI and availability of this product directly on our ecommerce website, we have the opportunity to reach a wider net of consumers and brand fans through the introduction of this new, delicious product offering," said Christine Mei, CEO of Gathered Foods.

In 2021, the company rolled out its Plant-Based Deli-Style Tuna at Whole Foods Market in the United States, and debuted a limited-time offering of its plant-based fish fillets and crab cakes at Long John Silver's restaurants.

Additionally, the brand announced its first wholesale partnership with BJ's Wholesale Club for its Plant-Based New England Style Crab Cakes and expanded distribution of its product line in Sprouts Farmers Market across the United States. Good Catch now offers 10 plant-based seafood products.

Good Catch joins a growing number of seafood and non-seafood companies that are marketing alternative seafood products made from plant-based ingredients.

In December, Austrian startup Revo Foods, which specializes in 3D food printing, is expanding sales of its plant-based alternative smoked salmon to over 70 test stores that are part of the REWE supermarket chain, one of Germany's biggest retailers.

In Germany, REWE Group operates around 6,000 REWE stores.

In November, plant-based food company Sophie’s Kitchen signed a deal with seafood distributor Southwind Foods, which will now offer the company's plant-based seafood and other products alongside its full line of traditional seafood items.

The partnership marks family-owned Southwind Foods' entrance into the plant-based food space.

Last year, German frozen seafood group Frosta debuted its new plant-based seafood startup Fisch Vom Feld, which translates to "Fish From the Field."

Seafood giants such as Bumble Bee, Nomad Foods and Thai Union are also investing in the alternative seafood space.

Not everyone in the seafood industry supports the continued growth of plant-based seafood alternatives, which some say are intentionally masquerading as fish and shellfish to fool consumers.

Recently, the National Fisheries Institute (NFI), the leading US seafood trade association, stepped up its call to stop plant-based seafood manufacturers from labeling their products as seafood and gaining an "unfair marketing advantage."

NFI President John Connelly said the issue is among the most frustrating he has dealt with in the seafood industry over the past five years.

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