Cell-based meat alternatives could achieve cost parity with conventional meat by 2030, report predicts
There are around 70 companies working on cultivated-meat products currently

Global management consultancy McKinsey & Company believes cultivated meat could grow to a $25 billion industry by 2030.

McKinsey’s projection, laid out in a recent report, is based on a high growth scenario in which cell-based meat manufacturers are able to replicate many meat of products and sales in large meat-consuming countries are significant.

Annual production of 1.5 million tonnes of cell-based meat would be needed to meet this level of demand.

However, if cultivated meat sales are limited to a few regions and manufacturers are not able to replicate non-processed meat products, the industry could sit between $5 billion and $20 billion by 2030.

The report suggests cultivated-meat could achieve cost parity with conventional meat by 2030.

As start-ups scale and competition in the space grows, 75% of production costs could be eliminated through streamlined manufacturing processes.

An additional 25% could be eliminated by fine-tuning R&D, McKinsey reports.

“Further investment, ingenuity, and commitment are likely needed to move this concept from a novel small-batch product to one of the tempting protein options on millions, if not billions, of people’s plates,” the document concludes.

Meating increased demand

Anthony Chow, co-founder for investment vehicle for cellular agriculture and cultivated meat Agronomics recently told NutritionInvestor there were around 70 companies currently working on producing cell-based meat products globally.

“In 2020 alone $270 million [was invested into the industry],” Chow said.

“This year we’re already above that $270 million number,” he added.

“We’re at an inflection point in this industry where larger sums of capital are starting to flow and the risk associated with these technologies has decreased quite dramatically.”

Plant-based egg alternative start-up Eat Just was one of the first companies to fully launch its product in June after receiving the green light from regulators in Singapore last December.

Bay McLaughlin, co-founder of start-up accelerator Brinc believes thousands of new entrants will move into the space in coming months and years.

“We’ve been impressed with the global distribution of these types of technologies in the cellular agriculture space and we think there will be thousands of new entrants into this space,” McLaughlin said during a session on investment at the Future Food-Tech Alternative Proteins event in June.

Even major meat companies have shifted their sights to cultivated-meat as they consider how to meet pressing ESG targets and acknowledge the growing interest in this emerging market.

In March, Brazilian meat giant BRF signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understand) with Israeli cell-based meat company Aleph Farms to bring cultivated-meat to Brazil via products developed by both parties as part of a strategic partnership.

BRF will also distribute Aleph-backed cultivated beef products in Brazil. 

“We are a food company that invests in advanced technology and respects and combines new trends associated with social and environmental sustainability” BRF director of Innovation Sergio Pinto said after the deal was announced.

Date published: 24 June 2021

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