BlueNalu, which creates cell-based seafood, announced today that it is expanding its R&D and manufacturing space with a new HQ facility in San Diego.
According to the press announcement, BlueNalu has leased 38,000 sq. feet (a six-fold increase over its current space), which will house a pilot-scale food production plant “that will be designed for the commercial production of BlueNalu’s various cell-based seafood products in its initial test markets.” It will also feature the first BlueNalu kitchen and demo space.
The space will undergo renovation with a plan to open during the second half of 2021. Once up and running it will be creating anywhere between 200 – 500 pounds of its cell-based seafood per week to be sold to restaurants and other food outlets in test markets.
BlueNalu is working on a number of cell-based fish products including mahi mahi, red snapper, tuna and yellowtail. The company did a public culinary demo of its yellowtail at the end of last year. BlueNalu has plans for an even bigger, 150,000 sq. foot facility to be opened in the next five years that is capable of making 18 million pounds of cell-based seafood a year.
There are a few companies currently racing to bring their cell-based seafood to market. Wild Type does salmon while Shiok Meats does crustaceans. BlueNalu is focusing on finfish, and says that its different from other players in the market in that its product can be prepared raw, cooked multiple ways (seared, grilled, fried, etc.), as well as through acidification (ceviche, for example).
Getting this facility up and running will be an important step in BlueNalu’s path to commercialization. Products in R&D are one thing, but getting to scale and price parity with traditional animal-based seafood will be critical to its long-term success.