A wide variety of animal-free protein products are hitting the shelves today, with an array of production methods. Plant-based meats are aimed at replicating conventional meat’s taste and texture. The demand for alternative products has increased in recent years due to technological developments and growing apprehension about animal protection and rights.
Cellular agriculture establishes new mechanisms for producing existing agricultural products, especially animal products, from cell cultures rather than living organisms. The primary use of this technology has been for food applications, especially in cultivated meat, also called clean meat. This can be used to produce any form of agricultural product, including eggs, leather, milk, fragrances, gelatin, and silk, without harming animals.
However, cellular agriculture should not be combined with other technologies such as plant-based meats. Cellular agriculture uses tissue engineering techniques to manufacture meat and dairy products molecularly identical to those produced by traditional methods. This can revolutionize animal products’ supply chain to continue supplying a growing population with affordable and sustainable food and other materials.
Cultured Meat Market Overview
According to a market intelligence report published by BIS Research, the global cultured meat market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 34.8% during the forecast period 2026-2030. The growth of the market can be attributed to factors including the increasing need for food security and sustainable diet, growing concerns for animal welfare, and the impact of traditional meat production on the environment, among others.
Cellular agriculture makes it possible for producers to produce milk, eggs, meat, leather, fur, perfumes, and other animal origin items. Several cellular farming companies and non-profit technology promotion organizations have emerged for environmental and public health issues associated with traditional animal agriculture.
Impact of COVID-19
In addition, COVID-19 has had a significant effect on customers’ appetite for the alternative protein industry since more and more customers are substituting alternative protein foods for their daily diet. This is because several studies have shown that human interaction with the animals may have resulted in transfer of the virus. Thus, in a way, COVID-19 has increased the evolution of the alternative protein industry. At the same time, customer awareness of and interest in alternative proteins is growing.
For several years, meat has been the primary source of protein in developed markets, and in recent years there has been a growing demand in emerging markets for conventional protein. However, evolving consumer behavior and interest in alternative-protein sources have made way for growth in the alternative-protein industry, due in part to health and environmental issues as well as animal welfare.
Uses of Cultured Meat
Moreover, the cultured meat market can be used for several items, including nuggets, sausages, meatballs, and burger patties. The major product types included in the cultured meat market include beef, pork, chicken, seafood, and others.
In order to fulfill the growing demand for food, 70% more food will be required by 2050. Livestock becomes an important aspect that can help fulfill this demand, along with nutrition security. However, the issues pertaining to the environment and animal welfare are pushing the researchers into developing alternate protein options, thus increasing the demand for the cultured meat market.