This week, Future Meat Technologies announced that it was able to reduce the production price of 110 grams of its cultured chicken breast to $4 (h/t Plant Based News). This is the second time this year that Future Meat technologies has the lowered the production price of its cultivated protein, after having reduced the price of a quarter-pound of cultured chicken breast to $7.50 in February.
This significant price drop will help bring Future Meat closer to price parity with conventional chicken and bring its first product to market. The company’s CEO, Rom Kshuk, said that the production price could drop to $2 within the next 12-18, and within that same timeframe, the company hopes to launch its product in the U.S. market.
Like other cultured meat companies, Future Meat extracts animal cells and replicates them in large bioreactors. However, the company is different from others because it uses a blend of both plant-based and animal-based ingredients for its cultured meat product.
Cultured meat is expensive to make, so many companies are racing to reach price parity with traditional meat. A consumer may choose to buy alternative meat products for ethical, environmental, and health reasons, but often, the cost of food is the driving factor in our purchasing decisions. According to The Spoon’s publisher, Michael Wolf, several things need to happen to reduce the production cost of cultured meat, including the optimization of the commercial process, bigger and better bioreactors, and a reduction in the price of growth mediums. Once companies like Future Meat reach price parity, this will allow cultured meat to become commercially viable.
Though where cultured meat could become commercially viable is another matter altogether, as Singapore remains the only country that has allowed the sale of cultivated meat. In December, Eat Just was the first company in the world to sell cultured meat at a restaurant in Singapore, and recently entered into a partnership with meal delivery service foodpanda to offer home delivery of cultured meat. Aleph Farms has plans to bring cultured meat to both Brazil and Japan. SuperMeat currently has a restaurant/tasting facility where customers cannot pay but can try cultured meat in exchange for feedback.
Future Meat has been looking for regulatory approval in multiple countries, but it has yet to announce any approvals.