US – Cultivated meat, poultry and seafood pioneer Memphis Meats is rebranding as Upside Foods to usher in the next step in the company’s ambition of becoming the leader in the production of resource efficient meat.

“Our team introduced the world to cultured meat, and the evolution to Upside Foods communicates our passion and potential to make our favorite foods healthier for the planet,” says Uma Valeti, CEO and founder of Upside Foods.

Upside Foods’ has also announced that its novel cell-based chicken product will be commercially available this year, pending regulatory review.

Grown completely from animal cells, the Upside chicken is real meat cultivated without the need to raise an animal, and is not a plant-based meat alternative.

Chicken was chosen as Upside Food’s pilot product because it is deemed the meat of choice for global market.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Poultry (33%) was the second most widely eaten meat in the world behind pork (36%).

The company further notes that the versatility of chicken meat lends itself to a diverse set of recipes and culinary applications spanning geographic regions and styles.

To create this sustainable chicken meat at scale, the company has broken ground on a US pilot plant in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Pegged as the first custom-built for meat cultivation, this end-to-end facility will produce, package and ship cultured meat “at a larger scale than any other company” all under one roof.

Upside Food’s move to commercialization follows a historic ruling in Singapore where cultured chicken meat from Eat Just was green-lighted for sale in the city-state as an ingredient in chicken bites.

The island nation is the first to give the go-ahead to meat being grown in a lab following a rigorous consultation and review process by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).

Strong goodwill from consumers

As first movers in cultured meat are poised for the commercial greenlight, consumer research has affirmed that many consumers are willing to incorporate cell-based meat into their regular diet.

Published in the journal Foods, the new analysis goes so far as to suggest that cell-based meat is likely to make up a “major part” of consumers’ future meals.

This recent study revealed “patterns of greater openness” to trying such products by younger generational groups: 87 to 89 percent of Gen Z adults, 84 to 85 percent of Millennials, 76 to 77 percent of Gen X, and 70 to 74 percent of Boomers were “at least somewhat” open to trying cultivated meat.

These positive sentiments toward cultured meat were mirrored in Germany and France, according to separate research also published in Foods, which hinted at similar trends across the broader European foodscape.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, who invested around US$500,000 in Upside says: “This has the potential to revolutionize the way people eat and is incredibly exciting. The world 20 years from now may be completely different due to Upside Foods, which is why I’ve personally invested in the company.”

“Consumers are hungry for products that are humane, sustainable and delicious, and Upside Foods is meeting them at the center of their plates with meat they can feel good about.”

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