Cell-cultured dining

Cell-cultured dairy or meat has been hailed as a way of feeding the masses. However, luxury brands are now embracing cell-cultured products for their dining experiences.

The first lab-grown burger was consumed at a London conference in 2013 – but it cost hundreds and thousands of dollars to make. Since then, companies have exploded in developing meat grown within a laboratory. According to Crunchbase, in 2021, nearly a billion dollars will be invested worldwide in start-ups that produce cell-cultured beef and chicken. This investment will be primarily used by companies that are looking to make chicken, beef, and fish at a reasonable cost. Some start-ups, however, are focusing on the luxury food sector, with the aim of creating meat alternatives that are not only sustainable but also indulgent.

Upside Foods of California, best known for its development of cell-cultured poultry, entered the high-end market with the purchase of Cultured Decadence by January 2022. Upside Foods is expanding its technology and capabilities by adding lobster to the menu. Upside Foods, which clearly targets the luxury market, announced that they would partner with Michelin-starred Chef Dominique Crenn to bring cultivated chicken onto her menu in 2021 when regulations permit cultured meat in the US.

Geneusbiotech and Wageningen University & Research are developing Magiccaviar to compete with the costly delicacy of caviar. Geneusbiotech’s luxury products include the product made from fish roe, which is made using cells from sterlet and beluga sturgeons. Recently, the company announced its cell-based fur named Furoid.

Researchers at Osaka University in Japan are using 3D printing technology and cell culture to produce cultivated Wagyu Beef. They even mimic the fat streaks of the traditional Wagyu product. Scientists claim that they can also tailor each piece of beef to individual tastes and fat preferences by using 3D printing.

Cell-cultured meat is only currently legal in Singapore. However, other countries have begun to move towards this. There are many issues that cell-cultured foods aim to tackle–sustainability, transparency, and food shortages, to name a few–but as we noted in our Haute Veganism trend from “The Future 100: 2022,” high-end dining experiences are the next evolution when it comes to changing consumer attitudes around climate-friendly dining.

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