Companies to assess market development strategies for BlueNalu’s cell-cultured seafood in Asia
BlueNalu's CEO Lou Cooperhouse in front a a render of the corporate building
Photo as seen on BlueNalu’s Twitter feed

Cell-based fish producer BlueNalu has signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with two leading seafood providers in Asia — Thai Union and Japanese giant Mitsubishi Corporation. Both agreements are designed to assess market development strategies for BlueNalu’s cell-cultured seafood in Asia where there is high demand for quality seafood and the potential for diminishing supply to feed its population during the coming years.

Lou Cooperhouse, president and chief executive of BlueNalu, said: “We are excited by the collaborations with Mitsubishi Corporation and Thai Union, as these will help us to accelerate our pathway to commercialisation and advance BlueNalu’s mission to provide the world with sustainable seafood options that could provide so many benefits for consumers, our ocean and our planet.”

Cooperhouse said the company recognised early on that its ability to make the biggest impact at BlueNalu will be in part due to collaborations with leading global organisations that can facilitate the quickest and most efficient pathway to market possible, at the least possible cost. “We are keen to continue working with industry partners in Asia and other markets, and we are actively pursuing opportunities to create such relationships worldwide,” he added.

Thai Union is a global seafood producer with branded products sold worldwide and a dedication to sustainability and innovation, headquartered in Thailand. The company has also invested in edible insect protein company Flying Spark,

Mitsubishi has also made strides into cell-based meat production. The company teamed up with Israeli foodtech start-up Aleph Farms.

Market potential

BlueNalu said the collaborations with Thai Union and Mitsubishi represent a mutual interest in the commercialisation of cell-cultured seafood in Asia and a commitment to sustainable seafood solutions to meet rising demand. Global seafood consumption is at an all-time high and continues to increase, particularly in Asia, outpacing the growth in population.

The UN has reported that current seafood production from wild-caught and farm-raised sources cannot keep pace with demand. The global organisation projects a supply chain gap representing 28 million metric tons of new seafood production will be needed by 2030, and cell-cultured seafood is seen as a third solution that can help meet that demand.

The independent agreements with Thai Union, who also participated in BlueNalu’s latest round of financing, and with Mitsubishi Corporation include collaborations to conduct market research and develop consumer insights in various regions, assess regulatory requirements, and explore business and product opportunities that could accelerate the introduction of cell-cultured seafood products throughout Asia.

BlueNalu is already a strategic partner of Pulmuone, a leading global food company headquartered in South Korea, and Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, the largest subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation — an integrated global trading company with diversified investments in businesses involved in manufacturing and marketing of consumer products headquartered in Japan.

BlueNalu has received investments from investors located in 14 nations to date originating from Asia (Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand); Europe (Luxembourg, Netherlands, Sweden, and U.K.); the Middle East (Israel, Saudi Arabia); South America (Brazil); Central America (Costa Rica, Guatemala) and North America (U.S.).

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of $60 million of financing, announced in January.

Date published: 30 April 2021

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