166-year-old seafood company John West has launched plant-based tuna salads in the UK, marking the first time it has offered an alt protein option in its home country.
The salads are available in two varieties — Harissa and Indian — both containing couscous, lentils, and a tuna alternative made from soy and wheat protein. Other ingredients include vegetables, chickpeas, split peas, wild rice, and quinoa.
“Enjoy a protein-packed Plant Power vegan salad to keep you fuelled throughout the day,” says John West on its website. “Powered by plants, just peel, stir, and eat for a deliciously convenient meal that’s bursting with flavour. 1 of your 5 a day, 100% recyclable packing, and no artificial ingredients.”
The launches come after John West introduced its first ever plant-based range in the Netherlands earlier this year. Sold in pouches, the vegan tuna comes in the varieties Dash of Oil and Tomato & Basil.
John West is owned by Thai Union, a global seafood producer that has increasingly been expanding into the alt seafood sector due to the challenges posed by overfishing and climate change. In 2021, the company launched plant-based seafood products for the Thai food service market, including dim sum, crabcakes, and shrimp.
Thai Union is also collaborating with cultivated seafood producer BlueNalu to bring more fish alternatives to the Asian market. Additionally, the company is investing heavily in algae ingredients, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and could be used to make alt seafood products nutritionally equivalent to fish.
“John West Vegan Fish-Free Tuna is Thai Union’s first branded alternative protein product launch worldwide and therefore a major milestone for us,” said Jon Burton, director of the company’s European Marine Protein unit, at the time of the Netherlands launch.
In the UK, the new John West plant-based tuna salads are now available at Asda, retailing at £2.50.