December 6, 2023

wall street The Journal takes an in-depth look at the lab-grown meat industry, also known as cultured or cell-cultured meat, and the struggles involved.

The Wall Street Journal focused specifically on the progress of UPSIDE Foods, which received FDA approval for its process for making farm-raised chicken, essentially saying it’s safe to eat, and making it the first company to receive this approval company. Eat Just has been selling its products in Singapore, the first country to approve the sale of cultured meat, followed by a “thumbs up” from the FDA in March.

The WSJ story focuses specifically on UPSIDE Foods’ success in producing small batches of chicken products, and its inability to produce large quantities at low cost, or even on par with traditional meat — and, to be fair, most cultured meat companies Also struggling with this.

“Initially our chicken will be sold at a premium,” UPSIDE founder and CEO Uma Valeti told TechCrunch in November. “As we scale up, we expect to eventually be on par with conventionally produced meat. Our goal is to eventually be more affordable than conventionally produced meat.”

Companies in this industry produce meat from animal cells that are fed growth factors. However, the production and pricing challenges raised in the Journal report are not new. “Is Cell-Cultivated Meat Ready for Prime Time?” Not just a clever TechCrunch+ headline, it’s a legitimate question asked in early 2022 that still hasn’t really been answered.

Most of the cultured meat stories in our archives include at least one sentence explaining how difficult it is for companies to mass-produce and produce food this way to keep the finished product below $10 a pound.