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Major Players and Investors, Challenges, and The Way Forward

Executive Summary

Investment in the global alternative seafood market has grown dramatically in recent years. Consumers are increasing their consumption of alternative seafood for several reasons, including marine animal welfare, environment, health, and transparency. Seafood companies have an incentive to diversify their portfolio with a new revenue stream, and several major seafood producers have already partnered with alternative shrimp companies.

While the alternative shrimp market is growing, there are several barriers to large-scale consumer uptake, including high production costs, product formulation, consumer acceptance and obtaining regulatory approvals. Possible solutions include open access R&D, scaling up production of animal-free omega-3 fatty acids, and guaranteed offtake contracts (purchase commitments). SWP may have a role facilitating coordination between important market players, such as farming communities who could produce key ingredients, seafood companies, researchers, and governments.

Projections of cultivated meat and seafood production in 2050 are similar to actual plant-based production today, which suggests plant-based shrimp is more likely to reach large-scale consumer uptake over this timeframe. However, this may be reversed in the long-run (likely 2050 onwards), given the taste and nutritional advantages of cultivated shrimp, if production costs can be reduced. Cultivated shrimp also has several potential advantages over other cultivated meats, such as its ability to be cultivated at lower temperatures.

Possible areas for future analysis include:

  • Identifying opportunities for farming communities to stabilise profits by producing inputs into plant-based shrimp or omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Investigating the potential market reach of shrimp paste and identifying potential mechanisms to accelerate its development and uptake.

  • Researching shrimp purchasing behaviour across diverse consumer segments and cultures to improve product development strategies.

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