While many producers of meat alternatives fall back on soy, peas and other plant-based materials, there is another sector growing rapidly – clean meat. One of the companies producing this meat identical alternative is SuperMeat from Israel. The company wants to produce clean meat without the use of animal ingredients or serum. We interviewed co-founder Shir Friedman about the idea and the expansion strategy.
How is your business doing at the moment?
We are in the process of optimizing our clean meat products for commercial scale.
Your mission is to produce meat without using animal ingredients or serum, how is something like this possible?
There are plant-based alternatives and serum-free media that are used to feed the cells. Serum-free cell culture is not a novel concept and is used by different industries based on mass production of cells such as the vaccine industry.
Meat without exploiting animals: What is the reaction of vegetarian/vegan consumers on this clean but still „real“ meat?
Plant-based consumers of all kinds are generally very accepting and supportive of this new product. Whether or not they choose to consume it will be their personal choice, dependent on their reasoning behind giving up meat in the first place.
What consumers group are you targeting with your products?
While everybody is welcome to enjoy clean meat, our target consumers are meat lovers.
In Germany there are many different discussion why a start-up like yours – producing clean meat – is partnershipping with meat producers e.g. PHW Group and not with plant-based investors?
SuperMeat is backed by a variety of investors from both worlds, plant-based and conventional meat.
SuperMeat’s products are animal based meat and not plant based substitutes, hence it’s only natural to partner with a company like PHW who has vast expertise and understanding in meat, being the leading poultry producer in Europe. SuperMeat’s clean meat development will introduce the market a technology that allows for a sustainable, eco and animal-friendly meat production, introducing a new age of clean and sustainable protein.
What is your opinion how „clean meat“ will change the consumer behavior and markets within the next 5 years?
Clean meat will penetrate the market gradually, first as a niche product found in restaurants and eventually in supermarkets.