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Cultured Meat Still Seems a Ways Off

Feb. 2, 2024
The two approved makers of cultivated chicken have no timetable for retail launches but continue select restaurant tastings.

June of 2023 saw a landmark in the U.S. food supply. On the same day, two companies received final USDA approval to sell cultivated chicken – meaning the stuff is safe to eat. In the eight months since, neither Upside Foods nor Good Meat has made its cell-grown chicken available to the general public, but each has provided limited/test quantities to restaurants run by famous chefs.

Nor does either have a timetable for when U.S. consumers might see cultivated meat in their grocery stores. “We don’t have timing on a retail launch at this point, but no further approvals are needed for that step to happen,” said a spokesperson for Good Meat (part of Eat Just).

“Our restaurant samplings went very well; overall feedback was overwhelmingly positive,” Good Meat continued. “We did submit an update to our FDA application at the end of December to get approval on our serum-free process for cultivated chicken, but that was not required.”

Upside Foods chimed in, “To achieve broader availability, our primary goal is scale, a target that involves increasing production and reducing costs through technical scale-up, supply chain development, and cost optimization. The complexity of these factors makes predicting a specific timeline challenging.

“Generally speaking, our go-to-market strategy starts with restaurants, led by our first chef partner, three-Michelin-starred Chef Dominique Crenn,” Upside continued. “Moving forward, we plan to partner with additional chefs and eventually expand into grocery stores.”

Those two approvals were for chicken. Meanwhile, the world’s first approval of cultured beef came in December, when Israel’s Aleph Farms said it received a “no objections” letter from Israel’s Health Ministry, allowing it to sell steaks in that country.

The company still faces a bureaucratic process before the products are available for purchase, the Times of Israel noted. It hopes to roll out its Black Angus Petit Steak later this year, according to Israeli media reports.

Yoav Reisler, senior marketing and communications manager at Aleph Farms, told the Green Queen website that the plan is to introduce Aleph Cuts to diners “offering exclusive tasting experiences curated in collaboration with select partners.”

About the Author

Dave Fusaro | Editor in Chief

Dave Fusaro has served as editor in chief of Food Processing magazine since 2003. Dave has 30 years experience in food & beverage industry journalism and has won several national ASBPE writing awards for his Food Processing stories. Dave has been interviewed on CNN, quoted in national newspapers and he authored a 200-page market research report on the milk industry. Formerly an award-winning newspaper reporter who specialized in business writing, he holds a BA in journalism from Marquette University. Prior to joining Food Processing, Dave was Editor-In-Chief of Dairy Foods and was Managing Editor of Prepared Foods.

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