Pioneering Sustainable Seafood with Fish-Free Tuna in a Can

Meamo Foods’ offers a sustainable and convenient alternative to those who prefer the nutrients of seafood while maintaining a plant-based diet.  

09 November 2023

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Photo Credit: Meamo Foods

In a world where the demand for seafood continues to rise, Malaysian plant-based brand, Meamo Foods, is on a mission to revolutionise the industry with its fish-free tuna in a can. Meamo is offering a sustainable alternative to traditional tuna products.

However, can a plant-based version truly compete with the original convenience and ease of canned tuna?

Founder Sherry Tiong showcases her meatless tuna creations | Photo Credit: Meamo Foods

Sherry Tiong, the founder of Meamo Foods, is convinced that the transition from meat to meatless is possible. Armed with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and has spent the past six years in the fast-moving consumer goods industry, she understands the importance of satisfying cravings without compromise. In a bid to appeal to consumers with a variety of dietary needs, she has introduced a range of plant-based alternatives for seafood and meat.

  Photo Credit: Meamo Foods

Tuna is a staple in households around the globe, a convenient source of protein that features prominently in various dishes such as tuna casserole and tuna sandwiches. However, traditional canned tuna comes with its fair share of environmental and health concerns. The overfishing of tuna has had a devastating impact on tuna populations, pushing several species, such as yellowfin and Atlantic Bluefin, to the brink of extinction. In fact, tuna and mackerel populations are suffering a catastrophic 74% decline globally.

Tuna is also believed to contain mercury, heavy metals, and microplastics derived from marine and fish farming contamination.

Meamo Foods recognised these challenges and decided to take a stand. The vegan “seafood” market, which was valued at $42.1 million in 2021, is projected to reach $1.3 billion by 2031. Meamo is part of this growing trend, contributing to the Good Food Institute’s reported 40% year-on-year increase in sales for plant-based seafood in 2022.

Photo Credit: Meamo Foods

What sets Meamo apart from traditional canned tuna is not just the absence of animal-derived ingredients but the positive impact it has on the environment. The demand for seafood has led to higher greenhouse gas emissions and the high fuel used by ocean fishery vessels contributes to the climate crisis. Meamo’s products address these issues, making it a more sustainable choice for conscientious consumers.

  Photo Credit: Meamo Foods

All Meamo’s products are crafted from carefully selected plant-based ingredients, including plant proteins extracted from soybeans and wheat. These ingredients make it a rich source of protein and fibre, ensuring that consumers receive essential nutrients while enjoying delicious, umami-flavoured meals. In addition, the products are non-GMO, trans-fat and cholesterol-free and suitable for vegans.

One common misconception about plant-based diets is that they limit options and flavours, deterring people from making the switch. Meamo is breaking this stereotype by offering a range of seven different variations of its canned ready-to-eat food, including five plant-based tuna flavours and two plant-based meat options. Using textured soy protein as a key ingredient, Meamo replicates the texture and mouthfeel of meat and fish in its products.

The R&D process is rigorous, taking three to six months to ensure the right texture and flavour that consumers expect. Its hottest-selling product is the Spicy Vegan Tuna Mayo even as it continues to explore new plant-based offerings in the seafood category and other meat range products. Meamo has obtained halal certifications for its products, reflecting its dedication to serving a diverse customer base.

  Team Meamo at a food expo showcasing their plant-based tuna and meat products. Photo Credit: Meamo Foods      

As the company continues to grow, it actively seeks distributors, retailers, and HORECA partners to bring its products to consumers. The company is connected with Sunstar, another Malaysian canned food company, and operates from the same facility.

Meamo says it’s not just a brand, it’s a movement towards a more sustainable and delicious future where consumers would consciously choose Meamo’s fish-free tuna in a can for its benefits to individuals as well as to the planet.

Author: Pooja Thakur

Pooja Thakur is a senior journalist, writer, and editor with over 20 years of experience in print and digital media and in creating custom content for periodicals. She has been a long-serving senior reporter at Bloomberg News covering areas such as real estate, stocks and personal finance and inventing across markets with a focus on Southeast Asia and India. In her free time, she enjoys scuba diving, rucking and finding the newest watering hole in town.

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