Earlier this week, Fred Wilkinson, our managing editor, reported on a company that is poised to bring cultured poultry to the U.S. market, initially rolling into foodservice followed by retail (see “SuperMeat plans U.S. rollout for cultured poultry”). This is a path SuperMeat—and the lab-grown, in vitro meat and poultry sector at large—has been traveling for several years now.
But activity is bubbling up again, pointing toward micro-trend potential. We have recently seen some stronger momentum in this new market, with reports of research related to a wider variety of meats in process, including seasonal/game options, seafood, etc., including a recent cultured seafood project at Tufts University (see “Wanda Fish Technologies collaborates with Tufts University”).
Companies operating in the cultured meat sector cite a mission tied to growing animal protein in a sustainable and/or more-humane process. From a scientific perspective, these proteins meat, so the appeal for the growing vegan and vegetarian market is still in question. However, a broader market of sustainability-minded flexitarians might be just the sweet spot these new industry players need to maintain the products’ commercial viability.
Does this sector have long-term, mainstream viability? Will people accept “cultured meat” product labeling? (See the USDA-FSIS Federal Register notice for details: “Labeling of Meat or Poultry Products Comprised of or Containing Cultured Animal Cells.”)
What are your thoughts on cultured meat, poultry, and seafood?
Make your voice heard by commenting below or dropping us a note.