Clear Meat, an Indian cell-based meat company, has developed cultured chicken mince that it claims is already as affordable to produce as conventional processed chicken.
The company says it has chosen to focus on chicken because it is one of the most affordable and widely consumed meats in India. Processed chicken currently costs INR1000 (about $13.46) in the country, while Clear Meat’s mince costs INR800-850 ($10.77-11.44) to produce.
But the company isn’t going to stop there — it wants to bring down the price even more, making its product significantly cheaper than conventional processed chicken.
Last year, ClearMeat was involved in the first cohort of the ProVeg Incubator. At the time, it said its goal was to “accelerate clean meat adoption in India and to have enormous environmental, animal welfare and nutritional impact”.
Studies have shown that Asian consumers, including Indians, are generally more open to cultured meat than Westerners. The Indian government began promoting the research and development of clean meat last year, and in June of this year, China called for a strategy to ensure it didn’t fall behind in this area.
But there are still challenges — there is a strong anti-GMO sentiment in India, and Clear Meat worries that consumers may confuse cultured meat with GMOs. There may also be issues around labelling.
Despite these challenges, the company believes it will soon be ready to scale up.
“We’re at the stage where we can think of creating an industrial setup and look at funding, then progress to a licensing and commercialisation stage,” Clear Meat co-founder Dr. Siddharth Manvati told FoodNavigator-Asia.