When I wrote about what to expect for plant-based meat in 2022, my first two predictions were the rise of plant-based whole cuts and the continued emergence of fungi as a platform for alternative meats.
Colorado startup Meati checks both those boxes with the sales launch of the company’s new line of mycelium-based whole cuts. The company began selling its chicken cutlet and crispy cutlet direct to consumers today via their website and has plans to start selling a steak filet later in the spring. The launch of the company’s fungi-based meats to the general public follows a pre-order launch last month when the company sold over one thousand cutlets in less than 24 hours.
Meati raised $50 million in July of last year to scale its production capacity for its plant-based meat. At 80 thousand square feet, the new plant is expected to eventually produce a daily fungi-based meat output equivalent to 4,500 cows.
The company also announced a partnership with David Chang, the omnipresent chef who recently did a deep dive into the future of food via his Hulu series, The Next Thing You Eat. According to the announcement, Chang will create educational content and partner for product collaborations as a ‘Meati ambassador.’ Chang’s first deliverable as an ambassador will be cooking tutorials and recipes.
Meati’s official launch of its whole-cut mycelium meat is the latest sign of the broader availability of plant-based whole cuts. Last August, Better Meat Company debuted their mycelium whole cut steak prototype (Meati and Better Meat Co are in an ongoing legal dispute over intellectual property). Last month, Juicy Marbles started selling their plant-based steak to consumers via their website. Meanwhile, Libre Foods is planning on rolling out its plant-based bacon whole cut in Europe later this year.