With claims to be the first French startup working in the cell-cultured meat sphere, Gourmey has developed a cruelty-free foie gras from duck cells. The startup recently closed a $10 million (€8.4 million) funding round as it positions itself in the emerging cell-cultured poultry market.
“The ambition is that in many places cultivated foie gras not only will be the best option, but it will be the only option”
From chicken to duck, poultry is the planet’s most consumed meat, so Gourmey has focused on this sector, starting with its ethical foie gras but with one eye on a future mass-marketable chicken fillet. Its recent funding round featured Big Idea Ventures and Beyond Investing, as well as public backing from Bpifrance and the European Commission. With this investment, the company plans to create its pilot production line in Paris, with expectations to sell its foie gras products in late 2022 or early 2023.
French delicacy foie gras is banned from shelves in some countries due to the brutal cruelty of its production, though it remains a staple for special occasions in French culture. It is the perfect product for cell-cultured production as the fatty smoothness it is known for is easily produced, compared to the complexity of multiple fibers and textures necessary in other cultivated meats.
In addition, as foie gras is a luxury, high-cost product, Gourmey is confident it can reach price parity more quickly than other cheaper, mass-produced meats.
“We’re at three-figures range per kilogram and need to go to the two-figures range. We are on our way to decreasing production cost by 40X in the next months,” explained co-founder and CEO Nicolas Morin-Forest to Bloomberg.
“We really want to take cultivated meat into our gastronomy, and we believe chef adoption will essentially be the best label on cultivated-meat products,” Morin-Forest continued. “The ambition is that in many places cultivated foie gras not only will be the best option, but it will be the only option.”