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Nestlé explores cultivated meat options with Future Meat collaboration

CPG giant to compete with Tyson Foods and BRF in investing in the rapidly growing cell-based meat sector
Nestlé partners with Israeli start-up Future Meat Technologies to explore cell-based meat opportunities

Nestlé is working with Future Meat Technologies to explore emerging technologies in cultivated-meat production.

The company said in a statement it was considering the potential of cell-based meat components that do not compromise on taste or sustainability.

“To complement [our plant-based protein] efforts, we’re also exploring technologies that could lead to animal-friendly alternatives that are nutritious, sustainable, and close to meat in terms of taste, flavour and texture,” Reinhard Behringer, head of the Nestlé Institute of Material Sciences at Nestlé Research, said.

Canadian broadcaster BNN Bloomberg reported the two parties were working on producing a hybrid product portfolio combining plant-based protein and cell-based meat.

The partnership could fast-track the CPG giant’s entry into the cell-based meat space as it looks to compete with major meat brands like Tyson Foods and BRF in Brazil as they have already invested in the sector.

Future Meat is backed by the leading forces in the food and agriculture industries, including Tyson Foods, ADM, Müller Group, and Rich’s Products Corporation. Venture capital funds of S2G Ventures, ADM Capital, Emerald Technology Ventures, Manta Ray Ventures, and Bits x Bites are also shareholders in the company.

In February, it raised $26.8 million in funding through its strategic partners to fast-track the launch of its products within 18 months.

The start-up expects its pilot facility to start production this year as it seeks regulatory approval in several territories.

Nestlé is already active in the plant-based sector via its Harvest Gourmet and Garden Gourmet alternative-meat products and its recently launched pea milk brand Wunda in Europe.

According to industry investment vehicle Agronomics, cultivated-meat companies have raised $434 million in the first half of 2021, compared to $270 million in all of 2020.

The fund expects investment to exceed $600 million by the end of the year as further Series B and C stage rounds are conducted.

Most recently, Israeli company Aleph Farms raised $105 million in its latest investment round led by L Catterton and supported by big meat corporates Strauss and Cargill.

McKinsey projects the global cultivated meat industry could grow to $25 billion by 2030 provided there is widespread adoption in large meat-consuming countries and production is significantly increased.

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