Netherlands-based Vegan Finest Foods has been on the vegconomist radar since 2020, not least for its Vegan Zeastar brand which entails a large range of plant-based seafood and sushi products that recently launched a compelling line of shrimp products in addition to its Vegan Sashimi, No Tuna and No Salmon.
We were well overdue a chat with the company and spoke with co-founder Rosella D’angeli to hear all about Vegan Finest Foods and its interesting portfolio. “We have big ambitions,” enthuses Rosella.
What is the mission of Vegan Finest Foods?
At Vegan Finest Foods we create the most tasty and unique vegan and palm oil-free products, so you can indulge yourself in the food you like. At the end of the day we strive for a world in which all animals, the planet and people thrive.
Tell us about your brand portfolio.
Vegan Finest Foods holds four brands: Vegan Zeastar – fish substitutes; Beastie Plants – meat and chicken substitutes; iMelt4U – cheese substitute; and Vegan Junkstar – vegan sauces.
Vegan Zeastar is all about unique and revolutionary plant-based seafood, with tastes and textures that perfectly mimic their fish counterparts. The game-changing products are mind-bogglingly realistic and seamlessly replace seafood in all your favourite dishes, from sushi and poke bowls to shrimp tacos and calamari – there is no limit!
Our Beastie Plants are as cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce. You can’t get enough of our plant-based Bacon, Chik’n Wings, Shawarmama, Beastie Burger, or Kroquette Burgâh while our Betterballs are a reimagined version of a Dutch classic, but just, well… better.
It ain’t easy being cheesy! Especially if you happen to be a vegan cheese substitute. Of course this did not hold us back in our quest for a plant-based alternative that melts just like the real thing. Our persistence paid off. The resemblance is uncanny! We dare you not to melt away!
Looking to give your meal that extra oomph? Vegan Junkstar is where it’s at! We have the perfect companion to dip or drip! Our wide range of vegan sauces is guaranteed to make your mouth water.
Which are your most successful products, and why, in your opinion?
We have introduced several successful products over the past years – our first success being our award-winning No Tuna and No Salmon Sashimi for which we received the PETA award in 2020. Our Shrimpz family with the Plain Shrimpz, Crispy Chili Shrimpz and Crispy Lemon Shrimpz are also customer favourites.
And the Crispy Chik’n Wings, Kroquette Burgâh and the Betterballs were the first of their kind in the world that are palm-oil free.
We believe that our strong focus on high quality in taste and texture is what our customers appreciate the most. The end goal for us is to deliver a delicious product without compromise and our happy and returning customers are the best indicator for achieving just that.
At this year’s Horecava trade fair in Amsterdam, you premiered the “world’s first” complete range of vegan sushi and poke bowl products – tell us more about the product range and the feedback you received.
Vegan Zeastar’s sushi and poke bowl range contains a variety of vegan sushi ingredients, including the award-winning vegan Sashimis and a variety of vegan Shrimpz. The whole range is plant-based, palm-oil free and of the highest quality. With these high-quality ingredients, foodservice companies can create perfect nigiri, sashimi, temaki, uramaki, gunkan, handrolls or poke bowls for their customers. Vegan Zeastar offers all the ingredients to veganise sushi and poke bowls.
“At the end of the day we strive for a world in which all animals, the planet and people thrive”
The range encompasses: No Salmon Sashimi, No Tuna Sashimi, Plain Shrimpz, Crispy Chili Shrimpz, Crispy Lemon Shrimpz, No Tuna Flakes Classic, No Tuna Flakes Tomato, Tasty Codd. And our newcomers: Crispy Coconut Shrimpz and frozen plant-based Sushi Rolls, which come in four different flavours and feature our Sashimi. Seven other product launches are planned for 2023.
Plant-based seafood alternatives continue to trend in global markets – with this in mind, what are the growth prospects for your alt-seafood brand Vegan Zeastar in 2023 and beyond?
The market is ready to transition to plant-based fish substitutes. This offers great growth potential and that growth is expected to continue in the decade to come. Vegan Finest Foods has a strong focus on continuous improvement and innovation.
“…for 2023 alone we have planned seven new product launches!”
We have had fish substitutes in our assortment since 2019 and for 2023 alone we have planned seven new product launches! With our wide variety of high-quality fish substitutes, we can meet customers’ varying wishes and demands and offer them delicious products without compromising on taste or texture. Stay tuned to discover our game-changers for 2023!
The Netherlands is often described as a “hotspot for vegan food innovations” – why is this and how do you benefit from this ecosystem?
Vegan Finest Foods is a Dutch company and the Dutch are known for being entrepreneurial. Apart from that, Vegan Finest Foods has a clear mission that drives us to make the best plant-based alternatives for fish, meat and cheese: we strive for a world in which all animals, the planet and people can thrive!
Where do you see Vegan Finest Foods in five years?
We have big ambitions. We want to make our products available to a larger audience and we keep innovating in order to make the choice of a fish, meat or dairy substitute as easy as possible.
We can change the world together, one meal at a time!