The World Economic Forum, Wall St., Bill Gates, big food, venture capital, The Rockefeller Foundation – they are all in. Like it or not, this is the future of meat production.
At Food Dive
The beginning of the next big thing
Analysts have said this is the beginning of a sea change in how the world gets its meat.
Strategy and management consulting firm Kearney published a report predicting that by 2040, 35% of all meat consumed worldwide will be cell-based. About 40% will be conventional meat, and 25% will be plant-based alternatives. Corey Chafin, a principal in the firm’s consumer practice, said this is based on projections that have little to do with the current advances in this field. As it wrote the report, Kearney concentrated on factors including global population estimates, food needs for people and livestock, and resource challenges.
The report indicates that in 2018, the largest chunk of crops harvested worldwide — 46% — went toward animal feed. Human food took just 37% of the harvest. And as the human population is expected to be 10 billion by 2050 — an increase of 2.5 billion from 2018 — food and space needs will increase, but the amount of land will stay the same. The report finds that cell-based meat could solve these problems through efficient production of food that is less resource- and space-intensive.
“Cultured meat is not just a trendy thing that you go try once or twice, but it’s actually a pathway to continuing to feed a growing population in certain areas of proteins, where we see animal-based meat being constrained in the future,” Chafin said.
But will consumers want to eat meat that came out of a bioreactor? According to a 2018 online survey from PR firm Ingredient Communications, almost three in 10 consumers in the U.S. and U.K. were willing to try the products. A third of consumers weren’t sure, while 38% said they would not.
“I hope that the biggest meat companies … read this and say, ‘We’re going to get in this now. Now, we’re going to turn our attention, our vast capital resources, our infrastructure, our manufacturing prowess, our distribution capacity. And this is how we want to make meat.’ Because I think ultimately you need that kind of energy into it if you’re really going to change things.”
CEO, Eat Just