Hooked’s story starts with our head of purpose, Bob. Bob is super popular, but not always in a good way. Did you know that we are eating so many fish that Bob and his friends are severely threatened? Isn’t that crazy? Poor Bob.
A deeper look into this problem showed that 90% of the fish population is extinct, overused or in crisis. Still, the fishing industry grows every year and is estimated to increase another 30% in the next 10 years. Fish stocks are decreasing every year and, when the global demand for seafood increases, life in oceans will simply disappear. In addition, fishing nets, ropes and lines used while fishing and left in the oceans currently make up 46% of all plastics entering the oceans. As a consequence, this pollution in the oceans has led to higher levels of heavy metals and microplastics in our oceans, which intoxicates the seafood we eat. Finally, about 40% of the fish caught worldwide is unintentionally caught by fishing nets end up dying. This phenomenon is called bycatch and each year, as many as 50 million sharks and over 300.000 whales and dolphins are killed because of it.
Touched by Bob and his friends’ life crises, co-founders of Hooked, Emil and Tom, decided to create a company that could solve this urgent issue. Hooked started when Tom asked Emil “What if we could create an alternative to seafood that has great taste, all the good nutrients but is produced more sustainably?” Turns out they could, and they did. Hooked was born with the mission to lead the transition to a healthier seafood ecosystem, by making mouth-watering seafood available for everyone to enjoy. 100% plant based.
Tom Johansson, co-founder and CEO of Hooked Foods AB, works with the company’s strategy and secures the best customers and investors for the company. He has previously worked with commercial strategies at both Procter&Gamble and The Boston Consulting Group. He studied Industrial engineering at the Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden).
Emil Wasteson, co-founder and COO of Hooked Foods AB, is mainly taking care of the supply chain and human resources. He is active within the Effective Altruism community and is actively making sure the company works on replacing products that have the greatest impact on the seafood ecosystem. He holds a MSc. in Industrial engineering from Linköping University (Sweden) and has previously run a company of his own working to reduce food waste.
Soon after Tom & Emil’s alliance, Peter Liu brought his food technology knowledge and joined Hooked as co-founder and CTO. Peter heads the product development department and works to advance a more nourishing and sustainable seafood ecosystem. He was previously working for Matís ohf. in Iceland and was the project manager of the Ecotrophelia Europe focusing on innovative breakthroughs in by-product utilization from salmon industry and plant-based meat. Peter holds a BSc. in Biomedical Engineering from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (China) and has an MSc. in Food science from the University of Iceland.
Within two years of its existence, Hooked Foods launched its first 100% plant-based fish alternative in restaurants around its country of origin, Sweden. This product is a shredded tuna replacer called Toonish. Toonish is tasty, high in protein (17%) and easy to cook and eat product. The feedback of the product has been so positive that it will hit supermarkets around Sweden this September. Lookout for it in the stores!
While Toonish is hooking consumers around Sweden, the product development team of Hooked has been working on the company’s next hit; Salmoonish. Salmoonish, a shredded salmon analogue, should be hitting the markets in 2022.
Toonish and Salmoonish are only the two first products from Hooked Foods. Hooked envisions expanding its product portfolio and market in the upcoming years. Product expansions revolve around making analogues of shrimp-ish, crab-ish and other fish species. Foreseen markets for expansion are Germany and United Kingdom.
Besides expanding markets and product portfolio, Hooked’s crew is also in constant expansion. Members with a passion for Hooked’s mission, to lead the transition to a healthier seafood ecosystem, have been joining the company and helping to make our mark in the world. As a matter of fact, we have open positions up on our website right now. Check out our career page on our website if you want to be a part of the Hooked ship.
Being part of the EIT FAN accelerator program has been an honour for Hooked since the moment we were chosen to participate. The program has allowed Hooked to connect with companies with similar missions as well as passionate participants. Moreover, it has provided relevant business and technical workshops that will boost Hooked’s future growth even more.
Written by Lara Lima, Food Scientist at Hooked Foods.