Cultured meat is revolutionising the meat industry, driven by pioneering startups and supported by established industry giants. With advancements in cellular techniques, regulatory endorsements, and growing logistical costs, it is poised to emerge as a scalable and resource-efficient alternative to conventional meat production, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Kiran Raj, Practice Head of Disruptive Tech at GlobalData, explained that cultured meat has emerged as a beacon of ethical and environmental standards, drawing from cellular sources rather than traditional slaughter. Amid the pursuit of sustainable options, lab-grown alternatives take centre stage. Despite this, achieving widespread acceptance hinges on aligning production costs with economies of scale.
There is a surge in sustainable, animal-free food solutions driven by escalating investments and relentless innovation. Spearheaded by startups pursuing cost-effective production, this movement prompts food industry giants to pivot and tap into the burgeoning cultured meat market.
Shagun Sachdeva, Project Manager of Disruptive Tech at GlobalData, said the cultivated meat sector is poised for exponential growth with regulatory green lights in Singapore and the US.
GlobalData’s Disruptor Intelligence Center has shed light on key market developments in the cultured meat sector.
Mzansi Meat (rebranded as Newform Foods), an Africa-based cultivated meat startup, rolled out a cost-efficient cultivated meat bioproduction platform in August 2023. CellX, a Shanghai-based cellular agriculture startup, began lab-grown meat trials in China, while Embrapa Swine and Poultry are developing a chicken breast fillet prototype.
The US Department of Agriculture gave its inaugural nod to cell-cultured meat from GOOD Meat and UPSIDE Foods in July 2023. During the same month, Aleph Farms sought approval for cell-based meat in the UK and Switzerland.
CDMO Extracellular, a UK-based cultivated meat-focused contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO), introduced budget-friendly cell banks without licensing or commercial constraints, targeting budding cultivated meat startups and scholars in June 2023.
MeaTech, an Israeli food tech venture, pioneered a multi-nozzle modular printing head in April 2022, offering an eco-friendly substitute to traditional animal farming, minimising carbon footprint, water, and land use, and eradicating the need for animal slaughter.
“Currently, market players are optimistic about the success of lab-grown meat products. Yet, realisation hinges on a clear strategy, from universally accepted taxonomy to precise certification labels,” said Sachdeva.
“Companies must also enhance customer experience, explore fresh distribution avenues, and amplify their social media presence to spotlight their offerings.”