December 2023 marked significant strides and challenges in the cultivated meat sector, reflecting an industry at a critical juncture.
Hamilton, known for its laboratory technology, released a white paper addressing one of the cultivated meat industry’s most pressing issues: high production costs. Identifying key cost drivers, Hamilton’s insights are crucial for an industry striving for economic viability.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) at COP28 underscored the role of novel protein alternatives, like cell-cultured food, in transforming the global food system. This recognition at a major international conference highlights the growing importance of sustainable food solutions.
In academia, Tufts University launched the world’s first undergraduate minor in cellular agriculture. This pioneering program is a significant step in preparing the next generation of experts in this innovative field.
Amidst these advancements, the industry faced challenges. Reports indicated a looming consolidation, with predictions that 70-90% of players might fail in the coming year. This forecast points to a critical phase of maturation in the sector. A survey of agrifoodtech investors suggested that difficult times might be ahead for startups seeking capital.
Financially, the sector saw both support and caution. The UK government announced a £2 billion investment in its “National Vision for Engineering Biology”, including support for cultivated meat research. Meanwhile, the U.S. regulatory landscape remained complex, with efforts like LabMeat.com emerging to improve transparency.
Despite these challenges, companies continued to innovate and expand. Vital Meat sought regulatory approval in Singapore for its cultivated chicken, while other startups like Clever Carnivore and Meatiply secured significant funding for their cultivated meat projects. These developments indicate a dynamic industry, albeit one facing an uncertain financial landscape.
Ethical and regulatory considerations also evolved. Australia moved closer to approving cultivated meat, showcasing regulatory progress in the Asia-Pacific region.
See you next month!
Next events in Cultivated Meat
=> The 2nd Annual Meat Evolution Leaders Summit #MEVO – 7th & 8th February 2024 – Barcelona
=> 4th Fermentation-Enabled Alternative Protein Summit – February 13/15 2024 – San Francisco
=> Future Food-Tech San Francisco, March 21-22, 2024
=> IFE Manufacturing – 25-27 March 2024 – London
=> The Future of Protein Production Chicago – May 15 & 16 2024 – Chicago
=> Food Tech Congress 2024 – May 29 – 30, 2024 Warsaw, Poland
=> Future Food-Tech Alternative Proteins Summit – June 17/18 2024 – Chicago
New Hamilton White Paper Identifies Key Cost Drivers in Cultivated Meat Production December 29, 2023
Hamilton, a leading name in laboratory automation technology and analytical sensors for the scientific community, has released a comprehensive white paper providing insights into the critical challenge of the cultivated meat industry: high production costs. In the white paper, Hamilton addresses the key cost drivers in cell-cultured meat production, proposes… Read more: New Hamilton White Paper Identifies Key Cost Drivers in Cultivated Meat Production
COP28: Key takeaways for the cell-based food sector December 27, 2023
Midway through COP28, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) held a press conference in Dubai to launch a report that recognises the importance of transforming the food system with novel protein alternatives. Source: COP28: Key takeaways for the cell-based food sector | The Cell Base
Tufts University launches world’s first Degree in Cellular Agriculture December 16, 2023
Tufts University has taken a significant leap in academic innovation by introducing the world’s first and only undergraduate minor in cellular agriculture (cell ag). This new program, part of both the School of Engineering and the School of Arts and Sciences, is designed to prepare students for pioneering roles in… Read more: Tufts University launches world’s first Degree in Cellular Agriculture
Food farmers of the future December 13, 2023
Just as we often hear that the jobs of the future are yet to be imagined, the same applies to the future of food. Food scientists are researching innovative ways to ensure sustainable and cost-effective nutrition for the future due to the growing necessity for such solutions. Before cultivated meat… Read more: Food farmers of the future
David Kaplan, a biomedical engineering professor at Tufts University, named Future Perfect 50 finalist December 12, 2023
Over the years, Kaplan and his fellows have published research on cell-cultivated fat, the nutrition of cell-cultivated meat, and more. They impressed the United States Department of Agriculture, which gave Tufts a $10 million grant in 2021 to create the second, and largest, US government-backed research center for cell-cultivated meat:… Read more: David Kaplan, a biomedical engineering professor at Tufts University, named Future Perfect 50 finalist
Cultivated meat backed by UK government’s new National Vision for Engineering Biology December 10, 2023
The government’s National Vision for Engineering Biology will invest £2 billion in research, development and infrastructure over the next 10 years, including in the UK’s “budding” cultivated meat industry. Innovative UK companies in the cultivated meat and fermentation sectors are highlighted in the strategy, which also states that alternative proteins… Read more: Cultivated meat backed by UK government’s new National Vision for Engineering Biology
A new window opens for the emerging lab-meat industry December 9, 2023
Joint regulation of cell-cultured meat by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has not brought transparency to the novel food. To help fill that transparency gap, the Center for the Environment and Welfare (CEW) has announced the launch of LabMeat.com, a new… Read more: A new window opens for the emerging lab-meat industry
A tale of two shows December 6, 2023
Still, along with the upbeat atmosphere, a cloud hung over the event. A few firms had recently ceased operations and there was an awareness that the business environment had gotten more complex. On top of that, I heard several times that investors are now pushing harder for profitability. I saw… Read more: A tale of two shows
Cultivated meat: ‘70-90% of players will fail in the next year’ December 2, 2023
On paper, cultivated meat might seem like a no-brainer. Unlike plant-based options, which still don’t quite hit the spot for many consumers, it promises the allure of ‘real’ meat without the ethical and environmental baggage that comes with plundering our oceans and raising billions of sentient land animals for food.… Read more
Companies and key players
Good Meat on scaling up production of lab-grown meat December 28, 2023
Just Food’s Andy Coyne talked to the company’s CEO, Josh Tetrick, about the next steps for Good Meat and the hurdles that still stand in the way of growth for this exciting but nascent industry. Source: Good Meat on scaling up production of lab-grown meat
France’s Vital Meat Submits Pre-Market Dossier to Launch Cultivated Chicken in Singapore December 20, 2023
French cultivated meat company, Vital Meat, announces it has submitted a novel food pre-market regulatory dossier to the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) seeking approval to launch its cultivated chicken, Vital Chicken, in the country. The biotech stated that Singapore‘s progressive thinking and willingness to embrace new technologies position it as… Read more: France’s Vital Meat Submits Pre-Market Dossier to Launch Cultivated Chicken in Singapore
Applications open for AgFunder’s GROW Impact Accelerator 2024 December 18, 2023
Applications are now open for agrifoodtech founders to join the fifth cohort of AgFunder’s GROW Impact Accelerator. As part of GROW’s 2024 program, which kicks off in April, 10 founders will receive a $100,000 cash investment from AgFunder, introductions to its global network of co-investors, and mentorship and support from… Read more: Applications open for AgFunder’s GROW Impact Accelerator 2024
Cell-Cultured Bratwurst: Clever Carnivore Raises $7M to Scale Up Production of ‘Low-Cost’ Cultivated Pork December 17, 2023
Clever Carnivore has secured $7M in seed financing for its cultivated pork, adding to a $2.1M pre-seed round last year to take total investment to $9.1M. It plans to use the money to expand its operation and scale-up the production of its meat, grown in a lab from animal cells.… Read more: Cell-Cultured Bratwurst: Clever Carnivore Raises $7M to Scale Up Production of ‘Low-Cost’ Cultivated Pork
Meatiply banks $3.75m in seed money December 15, 2023
Cultivated meat company Meatiply has secured US$3.75 million in the first close of its seed funding. Existing investor Wavemaker Partners and AgFunder co-led the round, with participation from Seeds Capital.The Singapore-based startup will expand its R&D capabilities and scale up production in tandem with with commercial partners. A new facility… Read more: Meatiply banks $3.75m in seed money
Generation Food Rural Partners Launches Nexture Bio to Develop Novel Technologies Transforming Cultivated Meats December 14, 2023
Big Idea Ventures (“BIV”), the global leader in early-stage alternative protein and food technology investing, has launched its third portfolio company through the Generation Food Rural Partners Fund (“GFRP”). Nexture Bio, Inc. (“Nexture” or the “Company”) develops novel technologies to support the advancement of alternative meat products. The Company specializes… Read more: Generation Food Rural Partners Launches Nexture Bio to Develop Novel Technologies Transforming Cultivated Meats
Vital Meat: France’s First Cultivated Meat Startup Achieves Scaling Milestone in Chicken Cultivation December 8, 2023
Vital Meat, describing itself as France’s first cultivated meat startup, has announced a strategic partnership with Biowest, one of Europe’s leading producers of cell culture media from animal sources, to scale the production of cultivated chicken. Biowest has developed a customized serum-free medium for Vital Meat’s cultivated chicken platform that… Read more: Vital Meat: France’s First Cultivated Meat Startup Achieves Scaling Milestone in Chicken Cultivation
ProFuse Technology and Gelatex to Expedite Cultivated Meat by Enhancing Muscle Growth December 7, 2023
Israeli biotech ProFuse Technology, a biotech at the forefront of muscle tissue growth, and Gelatex Technologies, an Estonian materials technology company specializing in nanofibers, have partnered to advance cultivated meat production. The companies have announced that they have been working on a comprehensive solution for optimizing muscle growth that will… Read more
Worse is yet to come for agrifoodtech startup founders: VC survey December 23, 2023
And 30% of the 28 leading agrifoodtech investors who responded believe the worst is yet to come for startups trying to raise capital. Some 44% were more positive, believing we’re at the lowest point now for startup valuations, while 11% believe we are “over the worst of it,” with “better… Read more: Worse is yet to come for agrifoodtech startup founders: VC survey
Study assesses how participants respond to the labels ‘vegan,’ ‘healthy,’ ‘sustainable’ December 21, 2023
Participants were randomly assigned to one of five conditions, in which the gourmet food gift basket without meat and dairy was labeled as “vegan,” “plant-based,” “healthy,” “sustainable,” or “healthy and sustainable.” The food gift basket without meat and dairy was less likely to be chosen when its label focused on… Read more: Study assesses how participants respond to the labels ‘vegan,’ ‘healthy,’ ‘sustainable’
Report on Cultivated Meat Predicts “Shake-Out Similar to Plant-Based Meat” Sector and Consolidation Amongst Players December 5, 2023
A report published today by UK corporate finance house Oghma Partners has found that interest in cultivated meat has skyrocketed as the industry scales and becomes more economically viable, however, the authors project that a shakeout is likely and that could involve consolidation amongst the key players. Source: Report on… Read more
Laws, ethics and lobbies
Australia Closer to Approve Cultivated Meat: Food Standards Concludes Vow’s Cultivated Quail is Safe to Eat December 19, 2023
Australia and New Zealand’s alt protein think tank Food Frontier announces that the cultivated meat company Vow is closer to receiving novel foods approval to produce and sell a cultivated quail product in both countries. Earlier this year, Vow became the first Australian cultivated meat company to apply for regulatory… Read more: Australia Closer to Approve Cultivated Meat: Food Standards Concludes Vow’s Cultivated Quail is Safe to Eat
Has Cultivated Meat for Pet Food Really Been Approved in EU? The Complicated Story of Bene Meat (and Others in the Space) December 3, 2023
The total number of publicly announced cultivated meat companies is said to be around 170 at present. Not all of them will succeed. Clearly, as such, there will be countless companies in the cell ag space vying for the publicity around world firsts, European firsts, and the like. And since… Read more
Cultivated meat manufacturing: Technology, trends, and challenges December 11, 2023
This overview discusses the above challenges and possible solutions and strategies in the production of cultivated meat. The review integrates multifaceted historical, social, and technological insights of the field, and provides both an engaging comprehensive introduction for general interested and a robust perspective for experts. Source: Cultivated meat manufacturing: Technology,… Read more
Other alternatives to meat
What’s Cooking? An assessment of potential impacts of selected novel alternatives to conventional animal products December 22, 2023
The food systems are responsible for about 30% of the current anthropogenic GHG emissions, and animal products account for almost 60% of those emissions. There is a need to change the way we produce and consume the food we eat, because of its growing impact on the triple planetary crises.… Read more: What’s Cooking? An assessment of potential impacts of selected novel alternatives to conventional animal products
Plenty Foundation Champions Alt-Protein to Tackle Africa’s Food System December 4, 2023
Launched last week, the Plenty Foundation is a new non-profit aiming to address the challenges in Africa’s food system through biotech solutions and key multisector partnerships. Speaking to Green Queen, its founder Arturo Jose Garcia explains how the organisation hopes to boost the continent’s food and nutrition security, and the… Read more