Amid growing demand for marine resources and the rising global population, Nippon Ham is the first major Japanese food manufacturer to enter the alternative seafood market.

The company has developed a fried fish product resembling whitefish, to be sold to households from Wednesday, in addition to popcorn shrimp, a product mimicking real shrimp that will be shipped to businesses starting April 1. It is also developing plans to offer the latter to companies that operate chain restaurants.

“When it comes to food alternatives, there’s a fear that they wouldn’t taste as good as the real deal — this psychological resistance exists within consumers, we believe. We’re trying to change that,” said Jun Ichikawa, a marketing and promotion manager at Nippon Ham.