The decision by US regulators to approve the sale of cultivated chicken is a game changer. It’s already been added to the menu in one high-end California restaurant.
Still, the cultivated meat industry faces many challenges, including how to lower costs, raise funds to achieve economies of scale, and win the trust of consumers.
Companies in the US will likely opt for a similar strategy, targeting customers who are prepared to pay a premium, either out of curiosity or for environmental reasons, according to BCG’s Malte Clausen, who advises clients on cultivated meat business development.
“That doesn’t yet make it a viable business for the mass market,” he explains, “but it does mean there is an opportunity to bring the product to market and an opportunity for consumers to try these products.”
As people begin to experience lab-grown meat, companies will grow more informed about customer likes and dislikes.
“Companies will now be able to gather the data needed to build a strategy for success in terms of branding and labelling. It will also help inform product development,” Clausen says.
The public sector may decide that alternative proteins are an essential part of the transition to sustainable food, and decide to support the industry’s expansion.
“It will take many years to raise sufficient funds if companies rely exclusively on the private sector and venture capital. But public sector support could accelerate the sector tremendously,” Clausen says.
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