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"Clean Meat" & (near) Future Competition

Hi all,

I wanted to start a discussion/watchdog thread on "clean meat" (like Memphis Meats), which essentially produces animal meat from animal cells. As a human being on planet Earth, this is great, but as an entrepreneur entering the edible insect market, I now question the longevity and life of this market. Though I am definitely not abandoning it (insects have way more potential than just food), it is still a trend we should all keep an eye out for.

Many of the articles I've read say that the price of clean meat is still several years away from competitive ($10/beef patty by 2020), and the taste is generally inferior. However, it would be foolish to think that this trend is going to hit a wall and not eventually take over the vast majority of how humans consume meat.

Has anyone seen anything else of interest or value in this domain?


  • edited September 2017

    A likely (relatively) near term fallout from cultured meats hitting the market is that insect protein based "meat" alternatives face stiff competition (insofar as such products exist), however cost of scaling cultured meat production is significantly higher than scaling insect production, and insect protein is on a track to become highly competitive in the functional ingredients markets (protein, lipid, etc.) for a huge range of uses across industries.

    So while cultured meat will introduce competition for one particular use case of insect protein, it is unlikely to pose an existential threat to the industry. If anything, I would view advances in algae production as a greater threat - though the scaling problem is unsolved in that realm as well.

    One of the major benefits to insect agriculture is that insects are complex enough to have fairly robust immune systems, whereas the folks culturing meat have to maintain cleanroom conditions to prevent infection of the cell cultures. This adds significant expense and engineering complexity to the production process.

    Ultimately insects are good to eat and our planet is going to need all the food it can, so it will be more a question of finding the best fit use cases and marketing appropriately to access the huge market potential for insect proteins.

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