"The partnership is focused on driving the cost of production down, particularly the nutrients that feed the cells," Tetrick told FoodNavigator-USA, adding that the company is investing in reaching a point where it can support national distribution in the US (where regulatory approvals are still pending).
"Our current capacity is in the thousands, not millions of pounds. This partnership will be key to accelerating large-scale, tens of millions of pounds of production for Singapore, the US, and elsewhere," he said.
Active in other parts of the 'alternative protein' sector, ADM recently started to dip its toes into the nascent cultivated or cell-cultured meat space, which some analysts predict could one day become a $25bn industry*. The company, through its venture investment arm ADM Ventures, co-led a $347m Series B funding round in cultivated chicken firm Future Meat Technologies in December 2021, which like GOOD Meat is working to introduce cultivated meat products to several markets including the US.
“ADM has long been a pioneer in the alternative protein industry, and our strategic focus right now is on developing innovative new technology and solutions to continue expanding our capabilities to serve the fast-growing global demand for protein-based nutritional needs,” said Leticia Gonçalves, ADM’s president, global foods.
“Cultivated meat solutions have an exciting role to play in this space, and we are eager to work together with GOOD Meat to bring great-tasting, innovative cultivated meat products to the Singapore market and beyond.”
*McKinsey & Company, "Cultivated meat: Out of the lab, into the frying pan,” June 2021
'We are focused on cell density, media cost reduction, and larger vessels'
As part of the partnership between GOOD Meat and ADM, the two companies will collaborate on the development of GOOD Meat's cultivated meat products portfolio beginning with chicken, addressing specific food formulation attributes around flavor and texture.
ADM will help optimize the company's growth media, which is made up of specific nutrients (e.g. amino acids, fat, vitamins, and minerals) needed to enable the growth of cells in GOOD Meat's bioreactors where the cells can then grow and divide to create GOOD Meat cultivated chicken. Read more about the production process HERE.
"The partnership is focused on driving the cost of production down, particularly the nutrients that feed the cells. We are focused on cell density, media cost reduction and larger vessels," said Tetrick.
Driving down costs and reaching price parity
According to ADM's 2022 Alternative Protein Outlook report, some industry experts predict that the FDA and USDA will allow companies to begin selling cell-based meat products within the US in 2022 with certain companies such as Future Meat Technologies planning to enter restaurants by the end of the year.
According to both ADM and Eat Just, reaching cost parity with conventional meat products is becoming more of an attainable goal demonstrated by companies such as Future Meat Technologies which has cut costs by more than half in a six-month period and is producing cultivated chicken breast for $7.70 per pound (down from $18 per pound).
GOOD Meat has two production facilities: one located in Northern California and the other in Singapore, where its cultivated meat received regulatory approval from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) in December 2021 and where GOOD Meat chicken is sold at a select number of restaurants.
In the US, where cultivated meat has not yet received regulatory approval, the company stated that GOOD Meat is continuing to hire top scientific, engineering, and manufacturing talent to design and manufacture the infrastructure to one day produce cultivated meat at a commercial scale.
Over the last four years, GOOD Meat has achieved a 90% reduction in total costs when operating in a built-for-purpose plant, according to Eat Just.
"With our approach to accelerating scale, and now with ADM, we see a path to costs lower than conventional meat in the years ahead," added Tetrick.