TIME requested nominations from its editors and journalists and through an online-based application process.
Afterward assessed every competitor on key factors like originality, creativity, efficacy, ambition, and impact. Kuleana’s sushi-grade vegan fish was picked for its interesting ingredient list which incorporates green growth, koji, radish, bamboo, and potato.
Because of its health-promoting qualities, and its world-saving potential to make industrial tuna fishing obsolete.
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“Tasty and nutritious plant-based alternatives for meat and chicken have been available for years. But seafood? Not so much,”
TIME magazine wrote about Kuleana’s innovative vegan tuna. “That’s the void that Kuleana is trying to fill with its 100-percent plant-based, sushi-grade, ready-to-eat tuna and it retains the iron, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acid of the real thing—without the microplastics, mercury, or high cholesterol.
And the benefits are more than nutritional—it may also help to alleviate reliance on industrial fishing in the face of increasing demand for fresh food.”
Kuleana shares the TIME best iventions list with the COVID-19 vaccine.
Its vegan tuna vegan tuna was one of only three food category inventions TIME honored—the other two being SAVRpak (a packet that keeps food fresh) and Sfognili cascatelli a new noodle shape.
TIME’s unique notices incorporate UPSIDE Chicken,cell-based chicken made by California-based UPSIDE Foods, and vegan honey from MeliBio which utilizes innovative technology to make genuine honey without taking advantage of honey bees.
San Francisco-based Kuleana—which counts Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian as an investor—was founded to solve many problems in the traditional seafood industry, including overfishing, plastic pollution, fish fraud, human slavery, and human health concerns.
Its first product, Kuleana Tuna, can be used in traditional dishes that call for sushi-grade tuna such as carpaccio, sashimi, sushi, and ceviche. The vegan tuna is currently available on the menu at select locations of Poké Bar and Blue Sushi Sake Grill.
In the retail area, Kuleana Tuna was just sold at Los Angeles region.
The inventive vegan tuna launched online through retailer GTFO It’s Vegan.
Now available in two formats (poké cubes and fillets) for $13.99 per 8.8-ounce pack, Kuleana Tuna has a shelf life of seven days in the refrigerator and 12 months in the freezer.
“We’re providing the next generation of seafood without the environmental consequences,” Jacek Prus, CEO and co-founder of Kuleana, said in a statement. “Kuleana is seafood that is good for our palate and our planet.”
In addition to Kuleana, GTFO—which means “GreaTFOods”— as of late dispatched its own brand of konjac-based vegan sashimi in fish, salmon, sailfish, and calamari assortments to offer the broadest determination of plant-based sashimi in the United States. With its Kuleana association, GTFO is further venturing into the lucrative vegan seafood space.
“After monitoring tens of thousands of transactions and observing customer purchase patterns on our platform, we believe the next big wave of innovation in plant-based food will come in the category of seafood,” Marc Pierce, CEO of GTFO It’s Vegan, said in a statement.
“We were very excited to find and partner with Kuleana as they truly have a leading-edge plant-based sashimi solution in a category that is rapidly growing. With the taste and texture of this vegan product, we know it will be a winner among our wholesale and retail customers.”
TIME perceives vegan innovation
Kuleana is not the first vegan innovator to be recognized by TIME. In 2018, TIME named Beyond Sausage to its 2018 Best 100 Inventions list, pointing out that its first foray into the plant-based pork space “tastes surprisingly close to the real thing.”
In 2019, TIME spotlighted Beyond Meat top competitor Impossible Foods on its innovations list for its Impossible Burger 2.0, which improved on the beef-like texture and flavor of the original.