Nestlé confirms move to explore cultured meat sector

Quoting ‘people familiar with the deliberations’, a Bloomberg report claimed the Swiss giant has been working on alternative meat products that would blend cultivated meat with plant-based ingredients and allow the company an early mover advantage in a sector that may reach 35% of the $1.8 trillion meat market by 2040, according to analysts at Kearney, a consultancy.

In response, Nestlé said it is looking to ‘understand the potential of future meat alternatives’ and is ‘closely monitoring scientific trends and exploring emerging technologies’.

“The company is evaluating innovative technologies to produce cultured meat or cultured-meat ingredients with several external partners and start-ups,”​ it said in a statement. “Such novel technologies can lead to more environmentally friendly products.”

It revealed its scientists at Nestlé Research in Lausanne are working with Future Meat Technologies, ‘to explore the potential of cultured-meat components that do not compromise on taste or sustainability’.

No cell-based meat product has yet to apply for a Novel Foods Application in Europe. But supporters of this nascent but quickly growing sector are bullish on its prospects. Eat Just, the US company whose cultivated chicken ingredient has been approved for sale in Singapore​​, now the first country in the world to commercialize cell-based meat products, reckons its product will get regulatory approval in Europe within two years.

Future Meat, which is gearing up for a US launch next year​, pending regulatory review, has the backing of one of the biggest players in the global meat industry: Tyson. 

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