Thrive – the first culinary algae oil in the market and Solazyme’s first consumer food brand - will have an initial MSRP of $11.99 per 500ml bottle at 18 Gelson’s stores in the greater Los Angeles area and will be supported with instore demos and sampling, Solazyme SVP Mark Brooks told FoodNavigator-USA.
The oil - which has < 4% saturates; > 90% monounsaturates; and < 4% polyunsaturates – will also be available to purchase online at Thrive Algae as the company builds distribution in the coming months, he said.
Thrive – which has a clean taste, unusually high smoke point and unprecedented levels of monounsaturated fat, zero trans fat and very low levels of saturated fat – is suitable for every type of cooking, including sautéing, frying, baking, dressings and more, said Brooks.
Asked whether this foray into the branded packaged foods was a one-off for the San Francisco-based company, which makes a range of algae-based food ingredients, he said: “We want to bring the oil to consumers ourselves, as part of a mission as a company to advance nutrition…
"One table spoon of Thrive algae oil contains the same amount of good fats as one whole avocado. We see great potential for building upon this initial launch with future product introductions.”
The flavor of the oil is very neutral, very light
Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA at the Solazyme booth at the IFT show in Chicago this summer, Brooks said that most cooking oils come from crops that are planted on vast tracts of agricultural land (and in the case of palm oil, sometimes in places that might be better left alone, like rainforests), fed and watered, and then harvested months later.
By contrast, Solazyme’s algae oil is produced from algae grown in big fermentation tanks (that could be located neared to the end consumer rather than thousands of miles away), and is ready to harvest in days, meaning it can effectively be made to order – a completely novel concept in the edible oils market.
“It’s truly revolutionary, that we can take what is a normal crop cycle and compress that into three days,” said Brooks.
“We can dislocate the production of that oil from a tropical climate to the middle of Iowa in winter [where Solazyme’s algal oils are produced] and make an oil that is more nutritious and more stable.”
But what many visitors to the Solazyme booth at the IFT show liked most was the flavor, said Brooks: “The flavor is very neutral, very light, so it allows the flavor of the food to really punch through, so the food can speak for itself…"
Read more about Solazyme’s oils HERE.
Watch our interview with Mark Brooks at the IFT show: