Japan’s Largest Sushi Restaurant Operator Announces Partnership with U.S. Cell Cultured Seafood Leader BlueNalu

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SAN DIEGO & OSAKA, Japan – BlueNalu, a leading innovative food company developing a variety of seafood products directly from fish cells, announced a collaboration with leading multinational sushi restaurant operator, FOOD & LIFE COMPANIES ltd. (TYO: 3563). As a Japanese restaurant leader, FOOD & LIFE COMPANIES (F&LC) operates brands such as Sushiro and Kyotaru and more than 1,000 restaurants in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Mainland China.

The agreement is for the development of a supply chain solution for bluefin tuna and other sushi-grade products for the multinational operator of sushi restaurants in the Asia-Pacific region, where the consumption of seafood sea ​​is the highest. The companies plan to collaborate on product development and commercialization as well as supporting a regulatory framework to accelerate the commercialization of BlueNalu in Japan.

BlueNalu and F&LC will focus on the belly portion of bluefin tuna, called toro, as the initial commercial product. Bluefin tuna is a prized species in Japan, where an estimated 80% of the world’s supply is consumed, and is priced high for its delicious flavor and unique sensory characteristics.

“FOOD & LIFE COMPANIES is a global leader in the sushi restaurant industry, and BlueNalu is thrilled to partner with its team to continue the innovative legacy of its iconic brands,” said Lou Cooperhouse, President and Chief management of BlueNalu. “Cell-cultured seafood is a supply chain solution that will have the taste, texture and nutritional value that consumers expect and will not be sensitive to environmental contaminants like mercury and microplastics. By focusing our initial efforts on the high-quality toro portion of bluefin tuna, we aim to demonstrate culinary excellence with the most prized portion of the most sought-after fish in the most iconic seafood market.”

“With the uncertainty of natural marine resources in the future, it is important that we ensure a stable supply of seafood in a more sustainable manner,” said Koichi Mizutome, President and CEO of FOOD & LIFE COMPANIES. “We have already promoted the use of farmed seafood as one way to achieve this, but as the demand for seafood grows in the future, our global supply chain will face increasing challenges. Therefore, we look forward to incorporating BlueNalu’s cell culture seafood, as we believe it is one of the most promising methods to help address these issues. We look forward to the progress of this collaboration and the future when BlueNalu products can be used as sustainable, delicious, healthy and reliable seafood on our menus.

Global seafood consumption is at an all-time high and continues to grow, particularly in Asia. The United Nations predicts that the growth in population and global consumption will require 28 million metric tons of new seafood production by 2030. In addition to wild and farmed seafood, cultivated seafood in cells are considered a third production method that can help meet this demand.

This announcement with F&LC follows additional collaborations announced earlier by BlueNalu, including agreements with Pulmuone Co. Ltd. in South Korea, Sumitomo Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation in Japan, Thai Union in Thailand and Nomad Foods in Europe. BlueNalu’s business strategy is to partner with leading multinational companies in the areas of market research, regulatory affairs, product design and development, manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution, with the goal of efficiently and effectively bringing BlueNalu-branded cell cultured seafood products to consumers around the world.

To learn more about BlueNalu Inc., please visit www.bluenalu.com.

To learn more about FOOD & LIFE COMPANIES Ltd., please visit www.food-and-life.co.jp/en/.

About BlueNalu

BlueNalu’s mission is to develop tasty, healthy, safe and reliable cell-cultured seafood products that support the sustainability and diversity of our ocean. BlueNalu is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, a blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable future for our planet. BlueNalu began operations in 2018 and is based in San Diego, CA.

About FOOD & LIFE COMPANIES

FOOD & LIFE COMPANIES (F&LC) operates foodservice brands such as Sushiro and Kyotaru and aims to realize the vision of “discovering new flavors, sharing moments of joy” with our “COMPANIES” – the various multinational brands within our group. As a Japanese restaurant leader, F&LC operates more than 1,000 restaurants in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Mainland China. In order to provide safe and delicious food to our customers, we have a responsibility to achieve a sustainable food supply that will last into the future.

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements relating to the development and commercialization of BlueNalu’s products in conjunction with F&LC, the potential launch of BlueNalu’s products in F&LC, and the type and the characteristics of the products that BlueNalu will manufacture in collaboration with F&LC. These forward-looking statements are based on BlueNalu’s and F&LC’s current expectations and inherently involve significant risks and uncertainties. BlueNalu and F&LC assume no obligation or obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information. The impact of this agreement on the consolidated commercial performance of F&LC should be insignificant.

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