We get why alternatives to traditional meat might be on your mind — COVID-19 is the result of humans raising animals for slaughter. Ditto SARS, MERS, Avian Flu, Swine Flu and many more. In short, large-scale confinement of animals poses a public health threat by increasing the potential of emerging zoonotic diseases. Now, more than any other time in history, cultured meat has a clear path forward as it has none of those problems caused by the raising and production of traditional meat.And our progress is encouraging. Early last year, we successfully made a prototype of the world’s first cultured meat pet treat using cultured mouse tissue — the ancestral diet of the cat. Our feline tester, Frankie, loved it!
The consumer preference for naturalness is likely restricting the cultured material sector’s progress. While artificial food production systems are proliferating, as are the associated companies’ market shares, this growth is potentially being limited by how consumers perceive these products. According to a 2017 study, only one-third of Americans are willing to eat in vitro meat regularly. As long as consumers strongly prefer naturalness, according to the 2015 Meat Science report, investors will continue to be relatively averse to financing the development of artificial materials and foods. Yet even with this counterpressure, the global cultured meat market is predicted to grow by 15.7 percent between 2025 and 2032. Naturalness preferences are constraining, but not entirely halting, a large-scale shift toward artificially-made products.