Gathered Foods CEO discusses plant-based seafood

published on July 13, 2020

Welcome back to the final round I want to bring in our next guest we have Chris Curti the CEO of good catches the maker of frozen entrees and appetizers including plant-based tuna along with other types of fish and Chris I know it's been a very busy couple of months

For your company started the year with the new financing round this week you're launching a line of products but I just want to first start with your product and just about what differentiates it from the other offerings out there

Because I know a lot of our viewers are probably asking themselves what exactly plant-based fish is so nothing exactly on what you're offering you well mostly we focus on proteins and then we take culinary arts and make them into dishes

That people want to be delighted with they want to consume so ultimately we work on focusing solely originally on taste texture and then onward into taste and we spend about a year developing the texture of this protein from there we

Work our way up into the applications having to do with seafood seafood is a very broad category we don't refer to all land animals as one category and yet seafood covers quite quite a quite a swath of living beings we focus on tuna

Originally and so this is ultimately it's a platform play how do we make a really good protein it can then be utilized in different seafood forms by applying culinary arts a little bit of food science and a little bit of

Nutrition in Chris what is demand been like for your product over the last couple of months because we've been talking about the fact that obviously people can't go out to restaurants or they're choosing not to go out to

Restaurants in states where they've never had outdoor dining opened and said they're cooking at home so you've seen an uptick just in terms of demand for your products well there was a run on anything ambient that was across the

Board and so needless to say our ambient line did well during the better part of March and in the Maple April what has happens most certainly fresh seafood about 85% of it is consumed inside restaurant so that sector really took a

Beating that being said where you go after share of stomach human being still eat the same amount of food they just do it in a different way in the work case of a good catch we have three different channels

That we're approaching you know we've got food service we've got retail and then we've got commercial ingredient the retail channel is still very very strong and what we're trying to do is bolster that with our offerings directly

Into the frozen Channel which is where people expect to find good ready-to-eat culinary offerings in this case it's it's some it's a heat and served product it doesn't take any fancy chef ray in order to bring it to put it into your

Mouth so we're really excited that we have something that's so easy for users to try during this time crunch on this point you know it seems like there has been a lot of focus over the last few months on the issue of sustainability

Obviously that there's concerns with how food is distributed because everything's been disrupted but also if you look at the meat processing plants for example just how safe it is does that strengthen the case for

Plant-based food you think well unfortunately are a large part of our economy relies on what we call the exploitation of desperation and so if you have somebody whose needs a job needs to pay their rent they're going to

Go to work even in ambient in environments that are really unsafe and so slaughterhouses they're just unsafe by design they're not a particularly good place to work when you have something like a virus floating around

Or any other pathogen for that matter in the world of plant-based food the interaction between between the food as in the inputs and what ends up in on your plate is very minimal it's very streamlined there's not a lot of

Logistics between the two so when we look at this as a food source it's quite an efficient and quite safe way of consuming really good proteins and I actually think if you want to look at the kind of humanitarian side of it if

We're in trouble this is a good place to turn your attention hey Chris Rick Newman here you've used this phrase culinary arts to describe the method the sort of black magic I guess you use to get this to taste like seafood how do

You do how do you do that how do you infuse an oceanic flavor to fish and how far can you go can you do at some point in the future could you do clams and oysters on the half-shell the half-shell part might be a little

Bit tough but we can we can undoubtedly do the rest I mean mostly what we are focusing on originally when we eat food we focused on bite first a little bit of smell a whole lot of bite and then you get into the flavor and so ultimately

The food science is what leads to the bite size what did it feel like when your teeth break through it the flavours derived by in our case algal oils things that come from the ocean the same flavor that fish

Get their flavor from so we're just using that same process we're just applying it to plants ultimately you still have work to do you can't just take a base protein jam it together and expect people to eat it there's lots of

Things even a one steak sauces is a is a plant-based offering on top of steak we add lots of things to proteins to make them delectable and ultimately we use the chef's in our group to help create that culinary that that cult that

Curated culinary culinary experience that's our goal is it really good what is the what is the plant is it soy we have a little bit of soy it's actually six legumes so we've got navy bean in there lentil chickpea soy father and

Then we have oil in there for a little bit of flavoring so and then and then of course we've got all sorts of other things like vegetables and things that are that are pretty natural that just you know we used to in order to make a

Crab cake just like you would do at home Chris Rick's question just reminded me of the last conversation we had because I remember you said that fish is a little easier but something like shrimp is a really high bar to be able to you

Do a plant-based shrimp so now you've got a number of products out there I mean what what's the next thing you're looking to to be able to replicate yeah I mean yeah shrimp is tough and quite frankly all shellfish are and you think

About the form I mean we're not gonna make a lobster we're gonna make a lobster roll so you're gonna be able to take this kind of basic platform and apply different flavorings in order to make that happen in our case we want

Foods that are familiar clean and aren't hidden right and so and these products that we're just launching now you'll see there's no breading on there these products that can stand alone without any coating on the outside assuring you

That the base product is good you can you can bread cardboard and it's going to be delicious and the fact is we need to be able to bring really good ingredients inside of that that make for a good culinary experience from there

You can lighten the the protein flakes to make a white fish you wanted a battered white fish for fish and chips in the UK we can do something like that you can also turn the flavour towards something like

Salmon and in our world we between 200 and 300 different types of sea creatures there are a lot of avenues we could go and then of course each one of those beings creates different types of offerings and so in the case of tuna

Fish you might have five or six different ways of applying it let's just say it's a broad ocean out there and we're able to participate in all sides of it I like that but just in terms of scaling your business because I know

Earlier in the year you expanded your distribution footprint here now and UK selling Plan B's tuna what are your plans to further scale your business internationally well when we watch companies like beyond meat launching you

Know when you end up with a really good product your first big problem is not enough production capacity we raised this last tranche of money really to focus on production we did not want any production constraint it was a big

Gamble but we were looking at the world around us and saying look the adoption of plant-based proteins is growing it's growing it's growing and and by the time it takes to build a plant which is about 18 months you're already behind the

Cycle and so what we did was we really invested in that production output then from there we can export those proteins and have them localized to local market you don't we adopt food by form function and taste flavor and ultimately we want

Those to be localized and so our our plan is to grow by region outside of the United States to other places where they're also eating secretly Chris Hansen man when I first heard about it I was a little bit skeptical but you did a

Great job selling and so I'm going to try it soon Chris Kerr CEO of good Ken great to have you on the show thanks so much for taking the time to that thank you guys hey investors sach Guzman here are you

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