Nothing fishy about this: Whole Foods launches plant-based tuna alternative for sushi

By Laura Mullan
Whole Foods will begin selling Ahimi, a plant-based alternative to raw tuna in New York and Los Angeles, according to the company. Developed by Ocean H...

Whole Foods will begin selling Ahimi, a plant-based alternative to raw tuna in New York and Los Angeles, according to the company.

Developed by Ocean Hugger Foods, the substitute is primarily made from tomato and other ingredients.

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The company claims that the tomato-based product doesn't taste like a portion of tomato, but rather, replicates the taste of fish, thanks to "umami-rich ingredients."

Although the new creation hopes to reproduce the texture and flavour of ahi tuna, it is vegetarian and vegan-friendly.

“A tasty, vegan option for raw tuna is at the intersection of a few major trends, including the growing popularity of sushi, as well as the surge in plant-based diets and dishes,” said Andy Sasser, global category manager at Whole Foods Market. “

We love when we can bring shoppers something delicious that’s never been done before, and Ahimi does just that.”

Supermarket sushi is a burgeoning market in the food sector, with sales of packaged varieties up US$500mn over the past two years, according to Nielsen Fresh.

Whilst sushi is marketed as a clean and healthy product, some lingering concerns such as sustainability and mercury content are an issue for consumers.

Whole Foods’ plant-based alternative hopes to address those concerns.

Furthermore, it also offers another plant-based product to meet the growing consumer demand for vegetarian and vegan options.

The faux-tuna product, Ahimi, will be available in selected stores in New York and Los Angeles from the beginning of November.

Customers will be able to try it in two dishes - the Ahimi Nigiri and Roll Combo, and the California Roll.

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