A burger by Mosa Meat, from the Netherlands
© Mosa Meat
There's no alternative to meat alternatives: according to the World Resources Institute, the demand for meat (if current rates of consumption are projected into the future) could grow by 88% by 2050, thanks to population growth and increasing levels of affluence. The extra farmland this would require would be the same size as India, and would significantly increase the amount of CO2 produced by the meat industry.
Meat alternatives are the only way of preventing this worst case scenario. This is why current forecasts assume that the market for "traditional" meat will continue to shrink. By 2040, meat alternatives could even overtake the market share of the animal-based original, according to a study conducted by Kearney. This is why start-up companies throughout the entire world are busy working on alternatives. We've listed some of the promising candidates here:
1. Gathered Foods (USA)
Gathered Foods produces Good Catch, a 100 percent plant-based alternative to fish and seafood. At the start of 2020, the company completed its Series B round of investments of 32 million US dollars.
2. Shiok Meats (Singapore)
Shiok Meats is the world's first company to create cell-based shrimp meat. In September 2020, the company completed its Series A round of investments of more than 12.6 million US dollars and is planning a trial production of cell-based shrimps, which should appear on the shelves in 2022.
3. Aleph Farms (Israel)
With its many start-ups in the lab-grown meat sector, the food industry in Israel has become a real talking point. Aleph Farms combines lab-grown meat with 3D printing and introduced its first artificial steak at the end of 2020.
4. The Plant Based Seafood Co (USA)
The Plant Based Seafood Co was founded in 2020 and produces plant-based fish substitutes. Its first product appeared in August 2020. In September, the company won the "Most Innovative" Spirit of Innovation prize and received the PETA Libby award in the "vegan best meat" category.
5. Kuleana (Spain)
This company creates tuna and salmon flesh from plant proteins. Its first product, tuna, is based on iron, algae oil and a mix of other proteins. The company has received 50,000 Euros in seed funding and was part of the summer cohort of the "Y Combinator" start-up-program.
6. Kinoko Labs (Germany)
Kinoko Labs develops both meat and fish from mycelium (in other words, fungi) and aims to bring ready-to-cook products (already spiced, marinated and coated) to the market.
7. New Wave Foods (USA)
The company produces an alternative to shrimps, which is manufactured from sea grasses. The start-up, which attracted 18 million US dollars in Series A funding in January 2021, sells to restaurants and other commercial caterers.
8. Prime Roots (USA)
Prime Roots is currently the only company in the world that creates meat and fish substitutes from koji mould. The company is a pioneer in fermentation processes and technologies and attracted 16 million US dollars of series A funding in July 2020.
9. Avant Meats (Hong Kong)
Avant Meat uses cultivated fish cells to create Asian delicacies such as swim bladders and sea cucumbers. The first products from this company made their début in November 2019. In February 2021, the company presented a cell-based functional protein, designed for use in skin cosmetics. In December 2021, the company received seed investment of more than 3.1 million US dollars.
10. Mosa Meat (Netherlands)
The Netherlands is regarded as a pioneer in the meat-cultivation industry and Mosa Meat is one of the best-known start-ups. With investments of more than 85 million US dollars, it's right at the forefront, with a company history stretching back to 2016.