As consumers become more aware of the negative impact the meat and poultry industry has on the environment, manufacturers are looking for ways to improve their ecological footprint. Biotech and food tech start-up SuperMeat might have the solution to the meat industry’s biggest problem with their lab-grown “clean meat” products. The Israel-based company raised three million in a seed funding round led by venture capital firms for their innovative poultry products.
SuperMeat produces lab-grown chicken products by growing cells that are extracted from the bird. The process involves feeding the cells the correct nutrients needed to support growth and the production of muscle and fat, just as if they were grown in an animal. The company hopes to introduce these new poultry products as an ethical alternative to traditional chicken products.
“We’re proud that SuperMeat is at the forefront of the rapidly-evolving clean meat industry,” said Ido Savir, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of SuperMeat. “Our team is comprised of a diverse group of top-tier scientists, food engineers and chefs, working together with the best production experts from the pharmaceutical industry to create a new generation of meat products that are sustainable, cost-efficient, animal-friendly, and, of course, delicious.”
In addition to the funding support, SuperMeat has partnered with German poultry producer PHW. The Rechterfeld-based distributor of chicken, turkey and duck produces products under the Wiesenhof brand. According to Peter Wesjohann, CEO of PHW – Gruppe, the company’s partnership with SuperMeat is an example of how the company has “left the beaten path” when it comes to business strategies.
“SuperMeat is consistent with our pursuit to provide Europe with sustainable, clean foods — we do not see this transaction as a financial investment but rather as the beginning of a long-term strategic partnership,” said Wesjohann.
“We look forward to working together with SuperMeat and are committed to supporting the company in its research and development, as well as the strategic positioning of its products in the European market. Our R&D, marketing and distribution expertise will contribute to the success of this exciting and promising company — thereby contributing to the development of cultured meat.”
SuperMeat is not the only company looking into lab-grown meat products. Another company in the business is Memphis Meats, a Silicon Valley-based food manufacturing company. In August, Memphis Meats raised $17 million for their lab-grown meat initiative with support from well-known entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Kyle Vogt and Kimbal Musk.
These companies may spark a new age of cruelty-free meat products that are not only sustainable but environmentally friendly. Such qualities can boost the industry as consumers are becoming more interested in ethical products that have small ecological footprints.