Rügenwalder Mühle is the German market leader in plant-based meats, and is looking to expand into cultivated products. The company will bring its expertise in plant-based foods to the collaboration, while Mirai will contribute its knowledge of developing cultivated products. The cultivated fat used in the final product will be made without the use of fetal bovine serum (FBS), a growth medium that is expensive and often considered to be unethical.
“It is the fat in a burger which gives beef the distinctive taste of grilled meat. Until today, it has not been possible to recreate this taste with plant-based fat alternatives,” said Patrick Bühr, Head of Research and Development at Rügenwalder Mühle.
Rügenwalder shifts towards alt meat
Rügenwalder Mühle produces both conventional and plant-based meat products, but is seeing an increasing shift towards the latter. In 2020, the company reported a 50% rise in plant-based sales, and by the following year, plant-based sales were on par with sales of animal products. Then, earlier in 2022, Rügenwalder reported that its meatless products were outselling conventional meat for the first time.
Mirai Foods funding
Mirai Foods is also seeing increasing success, raising $2.4 million in funding last year followed by a $2.2 million boost two months later. The company said it would use the funds to accelerate product development, expand its team, improve in-house lab capabilities, and build a pilot production plant.
“The partnership with Rügenwalder Mühle underscores our claim to leadership in the area of cultivated beef. We are delighted that Rügenwalder appreciates our innovative power and we are looking forward to developing new products together, which will convince even the greatest meat lovers,” said Christoph Mayr, CEO and co-founder of Mirai Foods.