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HomeVideoEmerging BrandsIndia prioritizes seafood substitute manufacturing over research: Seaspire Co-Founders

India prioritizes seafood substitute manufacturing over research: Seaspire Co-Founders

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In a world where dietary choices are becoming increasingly important, Seaspire stands out with a philosophy that is both simple and profound: “you are what you eat.” This mantra drives their mission to revolutionize the way we perceive seafood, placing a paramount focus on freshness and purity in their offerings, resulting in delectable choices that evoke the pristine allure of a glistening ocean wave.

Seaspire achieves this transformation by harnessing the power of innovative ingredients such as pea and rice protein, plant fiber, and algal extract. These carefully chosen elements not only eliminate the presence of fish entirely but also render their products 100% plant-based. Brace yourself for a culinary adventure that defies conventions, consistently tantalizing your taste buds with each savory bite.

At the core of Seaspire’s journey are two passionate food scientists, Varun Gadodia and Shantanu Dhangar. Together, they share a deep enthusiasm for culinary exploration and an unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of taste, paving the way for a seafood experience unlike any other.

Recently, we were fortunate to engage in a conversation with both of the Co-Founders. Here are the edited excerpts from the interaction..  

Snackfax: To become a food producer, it’s essential to personally understand the texture and flavor profile of your products. Knowing the order in which they are available makes it easier to meet consumer demands. Have you and your team ever tasted meat?

Varun: I would describe my approach as being somewhat on the fence, as my meat consumption is quite minimal. Nevertheless, I make a conscious effort to primarily seek out plant-based options, especially with the abundance of choices available in eateries and elsewhere. Over time, my personal meat consumption has been steadily decreasing.

Furthermore, as a developer, it’s essential to immerse yourself in the core attributes of a specific product. This firsthand experience is crucial for creating superior products and solving the problems you aim to address. Drawing from a background in food and having a genuine taste of what we aim to emulate, our understanding of the intricacies is greatly enhanced.

Snackfax: What led to your decision to establish a seafood substitute brand rather than focusing on meats more commonly consumed in the Indian market? Could you also share the challenges you encounter in perfecting the texture of your product, and how closely does Seaspire’s meat substitute resemble real seafood?

Varun: Fish is undoubtedly the centerpiece of Seaspire. When the plant-based trend began around 2018, the focus was primarily on meat products like beef and chicken, and seafood was often overlooked as a source of protein for quite some time. Consequently, there were very few companies working on seafood substitutes.

Even during the post-pandemic period, the seafood supply chain faced significant disruptions, prompting those accustomed to seafood to seek alternatives. Speaking about texture, seafood is unique in its complexity compared to other meats like lamb, chicken, beef, or pork, which have relatively simpler structures. The intricacies of seafood’s structure presented inherent technological challenges. However, we recognized that the potential for seafood substitutes was greater than the hurdles we faced.

Moreover, consumers are increasingly embracing such products as this trend continues to gain momentum.

Expanding on this topic, Shantanu added: Moving on to the second stage, it’s worth noting that people have become increasingly conscious about the ingredients in their food. They are growing more discerning and are inclined towards avoiding highly processed foods. This trend, however, doesn’t hold as strongly in the Western world, where processed foods are more prevalent. 

The primary challenge lies in creating plant-based foods that closely mimic the texture of meat. If the processing is excessive, you can achieve a texture that closely resembles real meat, meeting people’s expectations. However, if you don’t process it enough, you may miss out on many of the qualities inherent to meat textures. 

Furthermore, in the context of seafood substitutes, India tends to lean more towards manufacturing rather than being a research hub. This means that many companies use similar ingredients when developing plant-based substitutes.

Final Thoughts:

Seaspire’s innovative approach to transforming seafood is rooted in the belief that the ocean’s abundance can be authentically recreated using plant-based ingredients, resulting in dishes that are not only delectable but also free from guilt.

Seaspire goes beyond simply redefining seafood; it’s pushing boundaries and satisfying cravings across the entire culinary spectrum. Their offerings aren’t limited to herbivores or strict vegans; they are thoughtfully designed to cater to everyone, whether you’re an avid meat enthusiast, a fervent supporter of vegetables, or someone who enjoys straddling the culinary divide. With Seaspire, you can immerse yourself in a world of tantalizing possibilities, all while knowing that each choice you make is both clean and environmentally friendly, promoting gut health.

Seaspire isn’t just revolutionizing our eating habits; it’s reshaping our perspective on food itself.

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