A couple short weeks after getting regulatory approval to sell cultured meat in Singapore, Eat Just announced last night it has made the first commercial sale of its GOOD Meat Cultured Chicken. 1880, a private restaurant/club and social impact organization in Singapore, will debut the product this Saturday, Dec. 19, according to a press release sent to The Spoon.
The GOOD Meat Cultured Chicken product will make its debut in three different dishes, each inspired by a different country: Brazil, China, and the United States. The first diners to taste the dishes will be young people, ages 14 to 18, who “have shown, through their consistent actions, a commitment to building a better planet.”
The sale to 1880 is not only a first for Eat Just, it’s a first for the cell-based meat industry, which has seen plenty of successful lab prototypes but few opportunities for the public to actually taste the products. Up to now, the latter has been in the form of taste-testing events.
Getting regulatory approval to actually sell cultured meat products advances the entire industry. After all, you can have the tastiest, most environmentally friendly cut of slaughter-free meat out there, but without regulatory approval to sell and distribute it, the product won’t make much of an impact on our global food system. We may be years away from finding a cell-based burger or chicken sandwich in the majority of restaurants around the world, but Eat Just’s news is another significant step in that direction.
Singapore is a logical place to start. The city-state has been at the forefront of much food tech innovation over the last year, with the Singapore government pouring millions of dollars into its 30×30 initiative aimed at increasing local food production. And since the bulk of Singapore’s meat is currently imported, there’s no “Big Meat” producers and lobbyists pushing back on alt protein the way there is in the U.S.
All that said, I also have an eye on Israel as another important location for the advancement of cultured meat. That country is home to a number of cell-based meat companies, with SuperMeat even opening its own test-kitchen-meets-restaurant initiative in Tel Aviv where guests apply to visit the restaurant and taste the food in exchange for detailed feedback. (Dishes on the menu are not yet for sale.) Additionally, Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, recently tasted cell-based meat and wants to establish a national policy for alternative protein.
Eat Just has not yet mentioned locations beyond Singapore where the company will sell its GOOD Meat Cultured Chicken. But given the above, Israel would be an obvious next country for the company to expand both the regulatory approval and sale of its cultured meat products. In the meantime, GOOD Meat Cultured Chicken will be available to 1880 customers over the coming weeks and months.