Will 2023 be the year of cultivated meat?

It has been talked about for many a year but could 2023 be the one where cultivated meat brings major changes to what we eat.

Cultivated meat – also known as lab-grown, cultured or clean meat – has, so far, only been approved for sale in Singapore. However, according to Metaculus, cultivated meat is “fast approaching” the point of scalability. It is no longer as cost-prohibitive as before, and, what’s more, companies like Eat Just can now sell their cultivated meat chicken nuggets in Singapore for $23.

What makes this more than a pipe dream in 2023 is that more than 70 cellular meat companies globally are cultivating meats ranging from chicken to foie gras to kangaroo. Cultured meat could make up as much as 35% of the $1.8 trillion global meat market by 2040, according to Kearney.

Investors not far away either such that as analysts, Metaculus points out, their presence “indicates a belief that these companies will be able to operate for a profit at scale in the future”. 

Scale is an issue. No company has as yet secured a commercial-scale facility or supply chain to make a major statement in the market. But there’s no doubt many countries will follow Singapore’s lead in legalising the commercial sale of cultivated meat products. Collaboration will be key to see how profitable cultivated meat companies can become. 

Good Meat, the cultivated meat division of food technology company Eat Just, Inc., has announced that Huber’s Butchery, one of Singapore’s premier producers and suppliers of high-quality meat products, will become the first butchery in the world to sell and serve cultivated meat. 

Offering this new approach to making meat at a butchery is a “historic” moment in the long road to making cultivated meat part of the food system. 

The coming year could see some significant developments in this market. For cultivated meat to realise its potential, joined up thinking on regulation and legislation as well as keeping the public informed will enable a shift to it becoming part of the food system. This year could well be a tipping point to accelerate the move into the mainstream. To make this happen, it is vital that those working towards this goal come together to exchange ideas and expertise.

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