Hampton Creek have revealed that they have been secretly developing the technology necessary for producing lab-made meat and seafood. The business claims that it expects it will beat its nearest competitor to market by approximately 2 years.
The business was founded with a focus on plant-based alternatives, releasing a mayonnaise shortly after launching.
Hampton Creek have grown quickly, raising around $120 million in funding and is one of Silicon Valley’s ‘Unicorns’, a business valued at more than $1 billion.
“By the end of next year, we’ll have something out there in the marketplace,” Josh Tetrick, CEO of the company, tells Quartz. Until now, only one of the handful of global startups developing “clean meat,” Memphis Meats, has openly talked about getting a product to market and that was by 2021.
“The fact that Hampton Creek has so many resources at its fingertips is very promising for speeding up the commercialization of clean meat,” says Paul Shapiro, the author of a forthcoming book on meat alternatives and vice president of policy at the Humane Society of the United States.
When the product does come to market, consumers will have a choice between three different products:
- Traditional meat, from animals that were raised, slaughtered and processed.
- Plant-based meats, made from plant proteins (including heme) to mimic the look, texture, and taste of traditional meat.
- And lab-grown meat, which is being developed in industrial vats to look, feel, and taste like traditional meat and have the same molecular make-up.
The choice consumers have will only lead to more choosing lab-grown meat> This won’t just make people more healthy but it will also help to reduce the strain on the environment and killing of animals currently experienced through traditional meat.
“Once we have clean meat that is cost-competitive with animal-based meat, that will be the beginning of the end of all the harms of industrial agriculture,” says Bruce Friedrich, who leads the Good Food Institute, which supports and lobbies on behalf of meat alternative companies.