A report by technology business incubator CIIE.CO, in collaboration with GFI India, has examined the potential of the Indian cultivated meat industry to transform the country’s food system.
The study sets out how the industry could be advanced to make the food system more secure and sustainable, protecting against threats such as climate change, pandemics, and economic instability.
But while cultivated meat has “huge promise”, investment will be needed to make it viable. To that end, the report says Indian scientists, government, and industry will need to collaborate on a “Mission for Smart Protein”.
The study’s conclusions were made by interviewing Indian cultivated meat industry stakeholders such as academics, investors, startups, policymakers, and more. Stakeholders provided an analysis of the state of the industry, its future potential, and the support that would be needed to make change possible.
According to the report, India’s biopharmaceutical industry and talented scientists could make huge scientific breakthroughs — such as bringing down production costs — that will help make cultivated meat viable.
Perceptions of cultivated meat in India
In 2020, a report found that almost half (48.7%) of Indian consumers would be willing to purchase cultivated meat, significantly higher than in the West. Indian companies such as Clear Meat and MyoWorks are already working to bring cultivated products to the country.
A high proportion of Indians are vegetarian for religious reasons, and over 100,000 students in the country recently signed up for Vegan Outreach’s 10 Weeks to Vegan India program. Kerry Southwest Asia recently declared that a “huge paradigm shift” away from animal products was taking place in the country.
“We believe this is an opportune time to accelerate the momentum around cultivated meat and smart protein in general,” said Vipul Patel, Partner of Seed Investing at CIIE.CO. “Riding on the immense potential that Indian research talent possesses, we hope to discover and support many entrepreneurs in this space in the next few years.”