A seaweed that looks exactly like pasta (tagliatelle) is close to crowdfunding success on the Australian Pozible platform, jumping from 20% to 60% a few days before the finish. Now the race is on for the last stretch. After taking the European culinary and health food scene by storm, ‘I sea pasta’ might be next on menus down under. The first supermarket chains have shown interest in the healthy and sustainable alternative to pasta and Paleo Café features it exclusively on their menu.
Some seaweed, we seamore. Amsterdam-based entrepreneur Willem Sodderland discovered the ‘himanthalia’ species when he mistook seaweed for green pasta in a salad. His thought was simple and disruptive: what if we start eating it as pasta? We’re eating too many carbs and not enough veggies, so why not swap one for the other? The idea for “I sea pasta” was born. A very successful Dutch/German crowdfunding campaign enabled the first harvest in Ireland.
From superfood to supermarket. In just 6 months, I sea pasta has gone from its first webshop sales to 500 Dutch supermarket shelves. The same is happening in Berlin, London and Copenhagen. Michelin star chefs have started to cook with it. Consumers and chefs alike are surprised by the subtlety of the taste, the ‘al dente’ bite and the similarity to pasta or noodles, making it very easy to cook with.
Bonnie Ireland. The ‘pasta’ is sustainably harvested in Ireland, one of only 6 countries in which it grows. This species grows on rocks and is handpicked following a sustainable harvesting protocol. It is only rinsed and dried, no other processing takes place. The seaweed naturally looks like green tagliatelle and can be used in the same way. It is organic, gluten-free, very low on carbs and calories, rich in vitamins, minerals, omega3 and iodine. On top, seaweed is seen as one of the planet’s most sustainable foods: it requires only sunshine, no land, no fresh water, pesticides nor fertilizer.
From Amsterdam to Adelaide. Sean Heylen, an Adelaide entrepreneur, followed Willem’s adventures on Facebook and asked him for some samples to test I sea pasta. Sean’s first dish: I sea pasta with South Australian grown garlic, herbs from his own garden, and olive oil from the Adelaide Hills. The response from his wife and kids, then friends and chefs was clear: fantastic to have a tasty, healthy and easy to cook with alternative to pasta.
The crowd will make it Pozible for AU$15000. Sean is the driving force behind the Pozible crowd-harvesting campaign:
“Our idea is to make I sea pasta really accessible, also in price. Because it doesn’t grow here we have to ship it and crowdfunding a whole container makes it possible to keep the price down and make it widely available”.
‘crowd-harvest’ is more than a catchy phrase: a successful campaign in Australia will actually influence how much is harvested in Ireland. People can pre-order various packs of I sea pasta with a few extras such as wine, aprons and cookbooks. Funders have the product first and at the best price.
Tasting at Paleo Café. Sean organized a tasting session at Paleo Café in Adelaide to test the waters. Reactions were so positive that 4 Paleo Café outlets around Australia decided to put I sea pasta on the menu during the crowdfunding campaign. The Paleo Café’s participating are: Hyde Park South Australia, Ballarat Victoria, Mackay Queensland, Canberra ACT and Bondi Junction NSW. Refer to www.paleo-cafe.com.au for further details.
Crowdfunding page: http://www.pozible.com/iseapasta
Website Seamore: http://seamorefood.com
Press materials: http://seamorefood.com/press
Contact details for Sean Heylen:
Mobile: 0419 809 929
Email: [email protected]
Sean Heylen is the Australia and New Zealand distributor and authorised representative of Seamore Food.
More information about I Sea Pasta and Seamore Food at http://seamorefood.com/aboutseamore/