Lab-grown clean meat may be available for consumers to get their hands on by the end of this year, says JUST CEO, Josh Tetrick.
JUST, primarily known for its vegan products such as scrambled egg, mayo, salad dressing, and cookie dough, has also been developing clean meat. “I’d like to think [clean meat] will be [available] before the end of 2018,” Tetrick said at the Future Food Asia Awards, held in Singapore. The CEO was part of a panel, chaired by FoodNavigator Asia. “It will probably first be in a restaurant or foodservice outlet and we’ll then look to expand from there,” he added.
In terms of selling through retailers, the process may take slightly longer, Tetrick explained. “There will be regulatory issues but there is also a huge opportunity here for the country that is first to pick up and run with it.” He continued, “this is sustainable, it eliminates all of the food safety risks of traditional meat, and it tastes exactly the same.”
The clean meat market is expected to grow rapidly over the coming years, predicted to reach a global value of $20 million by 2027. Future Meat Technologies, an Israeli clean meat company, has even stated that the product could reach price parity with traditional meat by 2020.
“Right now, growing cells as meat instead of animals is a very expensive process,” Yaakov Nahmias, founder and chief scientist of Future Meat, told Fast Company. “If we start small and stay small, we can essentially dramatically reduce the cost, and the capital burden drops by an order of magnitude or more. With these two plays – a more efficient bioreactor and distributed manufacturing model – we can essentially drop the cost down to about $5 a kilogram ($2.27 a pound).”
And many consumers are eager to sample clean meat when it eventually arrives on the market, according to Memphis Meats, who recently carried out a survey on the topic. “Two-thirds of people we and others have surveyed say they would try clean meat if it was at price parity with conventional products,” Eric Schulze, Memphis Meats vice president of product and regulation, told Food Navigator USA.
Image Credit: JUST