US-based Eat Just, Inc has just got approval for its cultured chicken meat to be sold in Singapore as an ingredients in chicken bites. The company has also developed other cultured chicken formats that will be an extension to this product line.
This represents the world’s first commercial launch for laboratory-grown meat under its GOOD Meat brand.
This also marks a breakthrough for this niche industry using Singapore as a springboard for future launches in other markets.
Cultured meat, just like plant-based meat alternatives, hopes to create a more sustainable food supply for the rising global population. It is projected that by 2050, consumption of meat will grow by more than 70%, as such there is an urgent need for less harmful methods of producing meat to satisfy this demand.
Eat Just has demonstrated a consistent manufacturing process of their cultured chicken by running over 20 production runs in 1,200-litre bioreactors. No antibiotics are used in this proprietary process. Safety and quality validations demonstrated that harvested cultured chicken met the standards of poultry meat, with extremely low and significantly cleaner microbiological content than conventional chicken. The analysis also demonstrated that cultured chicken contains a high protein content, diversified amino acid composition, high relative content in healthy monounsaturated fats and is a rich source of minerals.
Eat Just has passed Singapore Food Agency’s strict safety review, thereby boosting the confidence on its products in other overseas markets.
Eat Just had also formed strategic partnerships with well-established local manufacturers in Singapore to produce cultured chicken cells and formulate the finished product ahead of its historic sale to a restaurant (1880) marking its commercial entry into the market.
A spokesperson from Eat Just said that lab-grown meat will be priced competitively in the future as the industry made progress in lowering the cost of production. In tiny country like Singapore, this new food technology will help the country achieve its target to produce 30% of its meat consumption without the need for huge farm lands.
This is Eat Just’ 2nd investment announcement in Singapore. Earlier in October, it announced plan to build a plant there for its JUST Egg products to meet demand across Asia.
Patrick Morris, CEO of Eat Beyond, the parent company of Eat Just said, “Cellular agriculture technology makes it possible to produce meat without the need to actually slaughter any animals. The end product is very similar, but it is made without the vast inputs and negative externalities associated with modern factory farming. Singapore’s small geographic footprint and advanced economy have made it a hotbed for cellular agriculture and food tech innovation, and truly the global leader.”
The approval for Eat Just’ cell-based chicken bites is a significant progress for the meat alternative segment which is expected to disrupt the multi-billion global meat industry in the next decades.
Privately-owned Eat Just plans to pursue an IPO in the US in the near future. Eat Beyond’s other portfolio of companies include TurtleTree Labs and SingCell.
A study conducted by US-based consulting firm AT Kearney showed that traditional meat products will become less significant, with market share dropping to as low as 40% with alternatives like cultured and plant-based meat to contribute 60% of the market by 2040. Another report from Barclays estimated that the US$14 billion global alternative meat market will grow by ten times to reach US$140 billion by 2029. Polaris Market Research, on the other hand, estimated that the global plant-based meat sector will grow to US$35.4 billion by 2027 with a CAGR of 15.8%.