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I’m not sure how to break this to my wife, but the family needs to pack up and move to Singapore. Because let’s face it, if you want to experience the future of food today, Singapore is the place to be.
This isn’t a new idea, and it’s something we’ve touched on before at The Spoon. In fact, we held an entire panel on Singapore as a food tech superpower at the 2020 Smart Kitchen Summit back in October. Since that time, however, Singapore seems to have stepped on the gas.
The world really took note in December when Singapore granted an alt-protein company, Eat Just, the world’s first regulatory approval to sell cultured meat. A couple of weeks following that announcement, that cultured meat went on sale in a Singapore restaurant. More recently, Eat Just teamed up with delivery service foodpanda to offer home delivery of cultured meat, marking another first for the industry.
In addition to having its own bustling startup scene featuring companies like Shiok Meats and Next Gen, Singapore is also quickly becoming a go-to place for outside startups to build out R&D facilities. Perfect Day, which uses fermentation to create animal-less dairy proteins, announced in December that it was building an R&D facility in Singapore. And just this month, Liberty Produce, Avant Meats, and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) each announced they were building their own innovation centers in Singapore.
What’s worth noting about all the new facilities announced this April was that they all address different areas of food tech. Liberty Produce is developing controlled-environment agriculture systems. Avant Meats is working on cell-based fish. And ADM’s facility will further develop plant-based protein. Not only that, but all three of those companies are building facilities that will also produce food, not just research it.
So what’s behind Singapore’s sprint towards the food of tomorrow? As my colleague, Jenn Marston wrote back in October:
Arguably the biggest driver is that, at the moment, Singapore imports 90 percent of its food. That’s a precarious position to be in during the best of times, never mind during a pandemic that’s disrupted the global food supply chain. In response, the Singapore government launched a $21 million grant fund this year as part of its 30×30 initiative, which aims to have 30 percent of Singapore’s food produced locally by 2030.
Because of that initiative, Singapore’s regulators are a lot more open to innovation without lobbying from entrenched, protectionist legacy players. This means Singapore really has the power and flexbility to push the food tech envelope.
There’s an old saw in business that dominance perpetuates itself. Singapore has quickly established itself as a dominant force in the food tech space, which means that it will be shaping the global future of food for some time to come.
Guess I should start packing my bags.
Beyond Meat to Launch Newest Version of its Burgers in U.S. Stores Next Week – New version no longer uses mung bean protein and promises to be “meatier” and “juicier.”
Finally! Prime Roots’ New Koji Bacon is a Really Good Vegan Bacon – Our resident vegan tried (and liked!) this plant-based breakfast meat.
Clara Foods Teams Up With AB InBev to Make Animal Protein at Scale – The partnership will combine AB InBev’s “centuries of expertise in scaled, food-grade fermentation and downstream processing gained from large-scale brewing processes” with Clara’s technology to develop more sustainable protein at scale.