There is a lot going around the alt meat world. Where Texas banned the terms 'meat', 'beef’ and 'chicken' on the labels of plant-based food products. Singapore became the first country to approve in vitro aka lab-grown meat aka cultivated meat. There are new innovations happening every day. Now you can buy plant-based tuna, chorizo, shrimp, filet mignon to name a few. They look just identical and taste almost* the same. You won’t be able to identify which one is ‘real’ in some cases.
Like here, can you guess which one is plant-based?
The first mock meat product was invented in the USA by John Harvey Kellogg in 1896. It was a peanut-based “meatless meat” which they named ‘Protose’. Not long after, the world saw different versions of mock meats. Now we have multiple options to create plant-based meat. From soy, jackfruit, seaweed, wheat starch, pea protein to Fusarium venenatum (a high-protein fungus). Some companies have also started creating cultivated meat.
Cultivated meat, cell-cultured meat, in vitro meat, lab-grown meat are all the same. So how is this meat made?
In short, ‘a small amount of tissues are taken from a living animal. Immersed into animal serum that feeds the tissues, allowing them to grow. The medium is then put into a bioreactor to support the tissues’ growth.’
A video that shows the science behind how it’s made-
In 2008, PETA offered a $1 million reward to the first laboratory that creates a commercially viable in vitro “chicken” product by 2012. And now we have companies from Israel, UK, USA, Australia (to name a few) working on perfecting alt protein. In today’s date, the cultivated meat market is estimated to be $140 billion by 2030.
Some interesting numbers and facts-
- Impossible Foods is valued at $10 billion
- Beyond Meat’s market value is of $8.3 billion
- Eat Just raised $200 million in a fundraising round and is valued at $1.2 billion
- Quorn a UK based, Filipino owned brand is valued at $831m
- Sweden based, foodtech company Hooked Seafood raises SEK 5 million ($600k) in a financing round
For now, cultured meat products have not been approved for sale except in Singapore. ‘Since cultured meat is a novel product, how it will be approved, regulated, and labelled remains to be determined.’ Eat Just’s Good Meat became the first company to sell cultured chicken products at a restaurant- 1880 in Singapore.
While the approval will take time, it hasn’t stopped startups to innovate. More and more startups around the world are coming up with plant-based alt meat products. Plant-based meat crossed the billion-dollar mark and grew 45% in dollar sales from 2019. The global plant-based meat market is estimated to arrive at USD 13.8 billion by 2027 at 19.4% CAGR (Good Food Institute report)
🥩 Juicy Marbles is the “World’s First” Luxury Filet Mignon Steaks From Plants. They created a steak marbled with sunflower oil. ‘It's not just for aesthetics. It behaves as marbling does in animal meat.’
🐟 Hooked is creating a ‘fish-ish future’ with 100% plant-based Salmon and Toona. They are made from soy protein isolate and seaweed for a fishy flavour.
🥩 Simulate has created ‘The most advanced chicken nuggs on the planet.’ They are higher in protein and lower in fat than animal-based nuggets.
🥩 THIS, based out of London is a plant-based meat brand that has mastered their chicken skewers*, cocktail sausage* and nuggets*
🥩 Moving Mountains products range from minced, hot dogs, fish fingers, beef tender and burger. They went from restaurant to retail within a year after the launch. They’ve spread across Europe, UAE and Australia.
🥩 Abbot’s Butcher, based in California, is a premium plant-based meat brand. Their beef, chick’n and chorizo are made from non-GMO yellow peas.
🥩 Libre Foods based in Spain, is the first European alternative protein food tech startup to tap fermentation technology. They are focused on developing a fungi-powered beef steak alternative, poultry and seafood.
🐟 Good Catch has created plant-based seafood with a blend of 6 legumes- peas, chickpeas, lentils, soy, fava beans and navy beans.
🥩 Heura Foods is a rebellious plant-based chicken and veal brand. Made with soy and pea protein. Their products are available in USA, Canada, Europe, UAE, Singapore and Hong Kong.
India has the greatest number of vegetarians compared to any other country. Some are vegetarian for health reasons, although most of them are for religious reasons. Even though we are an agricultural country and have a huge population of vegetarians, yet the ‘vegan movement’ started in the west. One reason can be psychological.
“With the presence of the word ‘meat’ in mock meat. I’ve seen hardcore vegetarians being reluctant to try the dish despite knowing that it’s vegetarian,” says Chef Saurabh Agrawal of Crowne Plaza Today, New Delhi.
We need a Claude Hopkins to change the perception of people around alt meat. Cause by 2025 India is said to launch its very own in vitro meat. In the meantime, Indian startups are rapidly developing plant-based substitutes.
🥬 Wakao Foods uses raw jackfruit to make shreds and patties. Shredded Jackfruit comes in 4 flavours- raw, butter, teriyaki and BBQ
🥬 Urban Platter launched their vegan meat in 2020. They use Jackfruit and soybean to make keema (minced meat), shred and curry.
🥬 Veggie Champ uses soybean, vegetable fibre, seaweed and wheat protein to make vegan Salami, hot dog, fish fillet, mutton, chicken drumsticks, prawns and patties.
🥬 Blue Tribe Foods is plant-based Chicken* brand. It uses soy protein, wheat gluten, wheat starch and pea fibre to make keema and nuggets.
🥬 Vezlay Foods makes seekh kebabs, shawarma filling, Shammi kebabs, nuggets, drumsticks and tikkas all from textured soybean.
🥬 Unived is a fitness and wellness brand that launched its ready-to-eat jackfruit curry with Pea Protein Isolate
🥬 Good Dot makes ready to cook and ready to eat vegetarian Pulao, Biryani, Tikkas and more. Made from soy, wheat and pea protein.
Have you tried any of these brands?
Tweet me at @hannroz to discuss everything food.
This post was made possible by Foster members Sam, Marko and Cameron.