One of the latest entrants in the Clean Meat space, New Age Meats, is taking a different approach to many other companies. Brian Spears, co-founder of the company, believes that too many companies are trying to fully vertically integrate their research. As he points out “A lot of clean meat companies are also trying to be supermen, to do all the elements in-house, the cell lines, the cell culture, the scaffolding, and the bioreactors, each of which is a multi-million dollar industry. But I think the industry will fail if it tries to do everything itself.”
He definitely has a point, although the biggest challenge for distributed research is its reintegration. It requires a great degree of co-ordination to optimise the research for rapid commercial implementation. Neither approach is perfect and it’ll be interesting to see how New Age Meats approach works.
Also of note is that, again different to other companies, New Age are starting with pork products. As Brian points out there’s an enormous amount of data on pig because of their use in human research. This makes a great deal of sense as the most advanced cell research is in the medical field and he plans to capitalise on this fact. Combined with a big data approach New Age certainly have an attractively different approach.
His vision of a brewery type approach is great, just try mentioning “bioreactor” to your average consumer! I have and they look fearful, saying ferementer, like in a brewery, and the fear factor drops dramatically!
I wish them all the best in their November pitch.