Thai Union invests in California’s BlueNalu

Thai Union, one of the world’s largest seafood companies, has invested in California startup BlueNalu, one of the leading firms engaged in creating seafood by replicating cells from fish.

Thirapong Chansiri, CEO of Thai Union, said that the investment aligned with the company’s focus on innovation and sustainability. Thai Union is the biggest tuna company on the planet and owns brands such as Chicken of the Sea. But with the health of the world’s oceans in peril, the firm has been promoting and funding startups in the food technology sector.

“We are excited to work with BlueNalu and look forward to exploring collaboration opportunities,” Thiraphong said. He did not disclose the size of the investment but noted financial and venture capital companies were also taking stakes in seafood startup.

Cell-based food uses cells of existing meat to create more meat by replicating them. The technology is in its early stages, but one company recently started selling cell-based chicken nuggets in Singapore.

BlueNalu said they were working on producing premium fish products directly from the fish cells, which were equivalent to conventional products in terms of their taste, texture and nutrition.

BlueNalu will use the funds from Thai Union and venture capitalists to complete the world’s first commercial pilot facility for producing cell-based seafood. It hopes to have its products on the market by the end of this year.

The firm says it will be able to create a variety of cell-based fish, including mahi mahi and bluefin tuna.

“We look forward to exploring various ways in which we will complement Thai Union’s position as one of the largest seafood operators globally,” said Lou Cooperhouse, CEO of BlueNalu.

Photo courtesy of