16/06/2021 – Agriculture / Cultured Meat / Meat / Cell-based / Sustainability / IDTechEx / Industry report
New report evaluates future of cultured meat industry
Following the world’s first approval of a cultured meat product for commercial sale last year, IDTechEx’s new research report explores the technical and market factors that are shaping this emerging industry segment.
Cultured meat – otherwise known as ‘cultivated meat’, ‘cell-based meat’, and ‘clean meat’ – involves using lab-grown animal cells to create realistic meat products.
Unlike plant-based meat analogues, cultured meat has the potential to create products that are completely identical to conventional meat, comprising the same fat and muscle tissue, without requiring animals to be reared and slaughtered. Many commentators therefore believe that growth of this emerging cultured meat segment could therefore help avoid some of the major environmental issues associated with animal agriculture, without requiring consumers to change their diets in a substantial manner – something they are often reluctant to do.
IDTechEx’s new report – ‘Cultured Meat 2021–2041: Technologies, Markets, Forecasts’ – explores the technical and market factors that are shaping the emerging industry around cultured meat, which has expanded rapidly over the last five years.
In 2016, there were only four companies active in the industry, just one of which had developed anything close to a prototype. Now there are more than 40 companies across the world working to develop cultured meat, with dozens of prototype products having been demonstrated and tasted.
There is now a cultured meat company on every continent (except Antarctica), and cultured meat has even been produced in space – start-ups Aleph Farms and Finless Foods both created prototype products on the International Space Station to demonstrate the potential versatility of their technologies.
The growth of the industry has been reflected by growth in investment, with the segment having raised close to a billion dollars in private funding since 2015. 2020 was a bumper year for the industry, with companies raising over US$300 million, with 2020 having already topped that figure. In 2020, the industry received another boost, when US start-up Eat Just became the first company in the world to achieve regulatory approval for commercial sale of a cultured meat product – a cultured chicken product that can now be purchased in restaurants in Singapore.
Towards achieving price parity with meat
However, despite this optimism, the industry still faces some major challenges. It is very expensive to produce cultured meat and no company has yet been able to produce it on a commercial scale. The price has fallen significantly from the +US$300,000 that it cost to create the world’s first cultured burger in 2013 – Israel-based SuperMeat recently claimed its cultured chicken burger cost about US$35 to produce for a burger that is 50% cultured cells. Nevertheless, this remains significantly more expensive than conventional meat and the industry still faces major challenges with engineering and scale before it can approach price parity with the meat industry.
The new IDTechEx report is based on extensive primary research into the industry, including interviews with over 15 key players in the industry. The report examines the key technologies that are driving the growth of the cultured meat industry and evaluates whether the industry will eventually be able to reach price parity with conventional meat. The report provides a step-by-step overview of how cultured meat is produced and the key emerging technologies in each step, highlighting the innovative companies in the field along the way and discussing the key factors that will lead to commercial success in the industry.
In the report, IDTechEx also discusses the consumer, regulatory, and industry factors that will shape the future of the cultured meat industry. Regulations will play a critical role in the early-stage industry, with the report providing an overview of cultured meat regulations in major markets, such as the US and EU. Finally, the report provides 10- and 20-year market forecasts for the cultured meat industry.
Cultured Meat webinar – Thursday 17th June
IDTechEx will be hosting a webinar on the topic on Thursday 17th June – ‘Cultured Meat: Can the Emerging Field Disrupt the $1 Trillion Meat Industry?’. Dr Michael Dent, a Senior Technology Analyst at IDTechEx, who has covered the cultured meat industry for over two years, will be exploring the growing industry around cultured meat and evaluate whether the industry is set to fulfil its potential. Find out more and register your place on one of the three sessions here
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