Cultivated meat company seeks poultry industry partners

For one cultivated meat company, it’s not “us vs. them” when it comes to the traditional protein market.

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At The Chicken, guests can try cultured chicken at a ‘production to table’ restaurant experience (The Chicken).
At The Chicken, guests can try cultured chicken at a ‘production to table’ restaurant experience (The Chicken).

For one cultivated meat company, it’s not “us vs. them” when it comes to the traditional protein market.

“It’s very important for us to form strategic partnerships with conventional meat and food and retail players,” said Shir Friedman, head of operations and communications at SuperMeat. “We would be licensing this technology to them, and we partner with them in order to bring this to market.”

In March 2022, SuperMeat signed a memorandum of understanding with PHW Group, one of Europe’s largest poultry producers, to work together to develop, manufacture and distribute cultivated meat at a large scale for consumers.

Potential benefits to the poultry industry

Friedman believes that transitioning to cultivated meat production can offer the poultry industry greater flexibility when it comes to adapting to consumer demand.

“I think it’s important for conventional meat and poultry players to see all the benefits that this technology can offer as an additional set of tools to create the same beloved meat products,” she said.

For example, cultivated meat production could shorten the time to reach slaughter weight, helping producers adapt more quickly to production demands. This could be beneficial during times of high demand, such as Thanksgiving or Passover, Friedman noted.

What’s preventing cultivated meat commercialization?

Cultivated meat – also known as lab-grown meat – is made using the stem cells from animals that are grown in in a laboratory resulting in a product that looks, feels and tastes like conventionally-raised meat. 

Global commercialization of the meat alternative is limited due to the high costs of the growth medium needed for production. This step is very costly, limiting the amount of cultured meat that is produced and making the product too expensive for the average consumer. The first burger made of cultured animal cells cost more than $280,000.

Cultivated meat is currently only available for commercial consumption in Singapore, although SuperMeat operates The Chicken in Tel Aviv, Israel, a “production to table” restaurant experience where food industry professionals, meat and poultry farmers, food processors, alternative protein enthusiasts and curious food enthusiasts can try the product for free.

“We were the first company to launch a pilot plant that had a glass wall where consumers could come and dine on a cultivated product while watching the process with their own eyes,” Friedman explained.

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