This is the web version of our newsletter. Sign up today to get updates on the rapidly changing nature of the food tech industry.
Ever since Eat Just nabbed the world’s first regulatory approval to sell cultured meat in Singapore (and followed that milestone up by actually selling it), myself and many others have wondered which market will be next.
The question was asked again this week when an article from Food Navigator zeroed in on Europe, noting, “Europeans want to know when it will be their turn: when will cultivated meat be served on EU plates?” It seems the most probable answer is three to five years.
With Singapore already selling cultured meat at restaurants, five years seems a long time. But David Brandes, the Managing Director for Belgium-based company Piece of Meat, noted to Food Navigator that “bureaucracy and political interest” hold back the regulatory process, and that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)’s risk assessment process alone takes nine months.
Still, the European Commission has a clearly defined process for bringing cultured meat to market that is known as the Novel Food authorization, which makes it a logical market to try and bring a product into. For example, Mosa Meat, based in the Netherlands, has said it is focusing on Singapore and Europe for its first launches, specifically citing Europe’s Novel Food authorizations as a reason. Europe is also home to many other cultured meat companies, including Blue Biosciences, Mirai, and CellulaREvolution.
On the other hand, many have their sights set on the U.S. as the next destination for the sale of cultured meat. In 2019, the FDA and the USDA issued a formal agreement to jointly oversee regulation of cultured meat using existing frameworks. (The framework does not apply to cultured seafood, which is regulated exclusively by the FDA.)
U.S.-based companies are still leading the cultured meat industry, too, and have attracted huge amounts of investment in the recent past, including Memphis Meats’ $161 million round in 2020, BlueNalu’s $60 million fundraise, and, of course, Eat Just’s recent $200 million fundraise. The latter — still the only cultured meat company in the world cleared to sell a product — hasn’t explicitly said it will next launch commercially in the U.S. In a recent conversation, Eat Just founder and CEO Josh Tetrick only hinted, saying “I think it’s more likely than not that we’ll see clearance sometime in the next two years. I hope it’s this year — we’re going to be ready if it is. But it’s hard to tell.”
Additionally, California-based BlueNalu has said its products will launch in the second half of 2021, though it hasn’t yet said where. And an organization known as the Alliance for Meat, Poultry, and Seafood Innovation, which includes Memphis Meats, New Age Meats, Eat Just, and others, is dedicated to advancing the reach of cultured meat in the U.S.
Let’s also keep one eye on Israel. While its a smaller market than the U.S. or Europe, the country is like Singapore in that its government is very keen on advancing cultured meat. That includes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyah, who in December of last year became the first head of state to taste cultured meat. He noted at the time that Israel will “become a powerhouse for alternative meat and alternative protein.”
Israel is also home to the world’s first restaurant dedicated to cultured meat, SuperMeat’s The Chicken. No products are sold their. Rather, consumers apply to gain entry then give detailed feedback in exchange for tasting the company’s cultured meat product. (Spoiler alert: it’s chicken.)
There are also a growing number of companies coming from Israel, including Aleph Farms, Future Meat, and MeaTech 3D, which already publicly trades on the Tel Aviv stock exchange.
Worth noting is that MeaTech 3D has also filed to go public in the U.S., which may suggest where its sights are set in terms of initial commercialization. Future Meat, too, has also said it plans to launch in the U.S. by 2022 via restaurants and direct-to-consumer sales. So while Israel may not necessarily be host the world’s second commercial sale of cultured meat, it may well provide the companies doing so elsewhere. Say, in the U.S.
Tyson’s Raised & Rooted Expands into Plant-Based Burgers, Brats and Italian Sausage. Tyson Foods’ plant-based protein brand, announced today that it is expanding its lineup with three new offerings: burgers, Bratwurst and Italian sausages.
Sweden: Stockeld Dreamery Launching First Plant-Based Cheese This Week. Plant-based cheese startup Stockeld Dreamerly, will launch its first product, Stockeld Chunk, at select stores in Stockholm, Sweden on May 6.
OmniFoods Plans to Launch Its Plant-Based OmniPork Products in the U.S. This Year. OmniPork, the plant-based meat line from Green Monday subsidiary OmniFoods, will launch in the U.S. later this year.