Vancouver, BC, Feb. 07, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Protein Industries Canada announced a new project with Konscious Foods, Avena Foods, and Canadian Pacifico Seaweeds (CPS) to bring new and improved plant-based products to the marketplace. Building off the success of Konscious Foods’ revolutionary frozen plant-based sushi, this project will amplify the nutritional content of its existing plant-based seafood products while helping the brand bring new innovative products to market.

“There is an ever-growing global demand for seafood, and this project is helping to meet that demand by offering an alternative plant-based option that expands the range of healthy and sustainable food options available to Canadians,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “This project, which is supported by Protein Industries Canada, one of Canada’s global innovation clusters, demonstrates how innovation can address global challenges while contributing to a stronger economy and supply chain.”

“Many folks here in Canada and around the world are looking to include more plant-based options in their diets. This investment will help support the continued growth of our agriculture and agri-food industries so that Canada remains a world leader in the growing plant-based food market,” The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food said.

With this project, Konscious Foods will advance the fortification and commercialization of its existing products, as well as develop an extended range of new offerings out of its state-of-the-art 34,000-square-foot facility in Richmond, B.C. Using pulse ingredients sourced from Avena in the Prairies, as well as CPS’ locally and sustainably sourced seaweed, this project brings together Canadian-leading ingredient providers to develop superior products. Konscious Foods will also evaluate pulses and grains from other Canadian suppliers and work with multiple universities to enhance the nutritional profile of ingredients and products.

“The innovation showcased by Konscious Foods and its partners is what differentiates Canada in this growing market space. Our ability to have ingredient processors – in this case, Avena – who work directly with farmers, and then loop back to the food processors, is the benefit of Canada’s uniquely integrated value chain,” CEO of Protein Industries Canada Bill Greuel said. “This connection and collaboration, along with the support of the Global Innovation Clusters program, is supporting innovation at an accelerated rate, leading to more successful Canadian companies, the building of new facilities, and the development of new IP that is being commercialized in Canada.”

This project will launch new products that offer consumers unique and exciting options, including nori and tamagoyaki plant-based egg products. Konscious Food’s will also improve the nutritional content of its existing seafood-alternative products, including increased protein and vitamin integration of Omega-3 fatty acids. The total value of this project is $5.1 million, with Protein Industries Canada investing up to $2.3 million, with the consortium investing the remainder.

“We are grateful for our continued partnership and investment of Protein Industries Canada as we march onwards towards our goal of bringing good-for-you, good-for-the-planet alternatives to the masses,” said Yves Potvin, founder and President of Konscious Foods. “Widespread adoption of plant-based foods is simply impossible if we don’t focus on food that tastes good, is made of healthy high-quality ingredients, and is affordable. Protein Industries Canada is connecting our culinary and technical knowledge with locally sourced, best-in-class ingredient partners to advance our mission of transforming how people eat.”

Avena will supply Konscious with new pulse-based ingredients to incorporate into their existing products. As well, through proprietary specialty-milling methods, Avena will be supplying functional pulse ingredients that mimic conventional egg, to be used in a plant-based Japanese-style omelet (Tamagoyaki).

“Konscious Foods is known for innovation. Avena is excited to be a partner offering pulse ingredient solutions that will help Konscious to develop innovative plant-based seafood products for this fast-growing market segment,” said Avena CEO, Wayne Arsenault.

CPS will focus developing a locally sourced nori product, working with local BC farmers to select different types of seaweeds for testing and evaluation, from seedstock to growing and harvesting. CPS will explore and develop a sustainable alternative extraction method to harvest the seaweed for this project in an efficient, zero-waste, eco-friendly and non-hazardous way.

“At Canadian Pacifico Seaweeds, we're honoured to be guided by a pioneering Japanese company, renowned for its innovation in nori snacks,” Founder and CEO of CPS Majid Hajibeigy said. “Their expertise sets the gold standard in nori production, enriching our efforts to craft a locally sourced nori product in collaboration with Coastal BC farmers. With sustainability at the forefront, we're charting a course towards an eco-friendly, efficient and non-hazardous alternative extraction method. This partnership underscores our joint commitment to excellence in seaweed cultivation, ensuring a premium, locally produced product for BC and beyond.”

Protein Industries Canada is one of Canada’s five Global Innovation Clusters. Protein Industries Canada and our members are working to embrace the $25 billion opportunity presented by Canada’s ingredient manufacturing, food processing and bio-product sector. Projects such as these add value to, and create new markets for Canadian crops, generating local jobs and supporting new economic development in locations across Canada. More information can be found at



Konscious Foods is on a mission to change the way people eat with the most delicious plant-based foods on the planet. Launched in 2023, the company has created the world’s first frozen sushi rolls, onigiri and poke bowls made from plants, and also offers plant-based seafood products for foodservice. All of these delicious chef-crafted products are designed to make enjoying seafood incredibly easy, convenient and sustainable. Konscious Foods recipes contain ingredients that are Non-GMO Project verified, gluten free, 100 per cent plant-based, organic where possible, and free from carrageenan and titanium dioxide.

Founded by Yves Potvin – plant-based industry leader, trained chef, creator of the world’s first veggie hot dog, and founder of Yves Veggie Cuisine and Gardein – Konscious Foods is said to be his most exciting endeavour yet.

The company’s products have won a number of awards, including Best New Frozen Product in the 2023 NEXTY Awards, finalist in the Best New Plant-Forward Product category in the 2023 NEXTY Awards and 2023 Best of Show Award by VegNews.

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Avena is a specialty miller that provides food, pet food and nutraceutical manufacturers with sustainably grown and milled purity protocol oat and functional gluten-free pulse ingredients. Avena builds partnerships with farmers and manufacturers to provide consumers with products that contain sustainably grown, specialty milled, high quality, safe and nutritious pulse and oat ingredients.

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Canadian Pacifico Seaweeds Ltd. is a leading innovator in sustainable aquaculture, specializing in the cultivation and production of high-quality seaweeds. Headquartered in Richmond, B.C., the company is dedicated to redefining the future of seaweed cultivation through state-of-the-art technologies and a commitment to environmental responsibility.

With a visionary approach, Canadian Pacifico Seaweeds transforms research centres into industrial powerhouses, focusing on large-scale seed production, robust processing capabilities and the development of premium products. Their strategic vision includes pioneering innovative cultivation and restoration methods, fostering partnerships with local BC farmers, and collaborating with industry leaders globally.

Founded on principles of excellence, innovation and sustainability, Canadian Pacifico Seaweeds is poised to make a significant impact on the global aquaculture landscape. Their mission is to provide premium, locally sourced seaweed products while championing eco-friendly practices and community engagement.

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