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Whole Foods Is Adding Plant-Based Tuna Sub to Supply Chain

Whole Foods Market will add a plant-based, raw tuna alternative to its fresh sushi bars in the New York City and Los Angeles markets this month.

Ahimi, the vegetarian and vegan-friendly sushi substitute, is tomato-based. It's produced by NYC's Ocean Hugger Foods.

The product consists only of non-GMO tomatoes, non-GMO and preservative-free soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and filtered water. Additional flavors can be layered on top.

Andy Sasser, senior category leader for prepared foods and bakery at Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods, found the product at the 2017 National Restaurant Association trade show.

“This was luck, honestly,” Sasser said, when asked if Whole Foods had been actively searching for a plant-based sushi option when it found Ocean Hugger. “I happened to be attending the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago and I stumbled across the Ocean Hugger team demoing the product.”

Sasser described the product as “fairly mild, not tomato-y at all,” and said that he thinks the alternative will attract more than just vegetarian and vegan sushi shoppers.

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