Both Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat, both food-tech companies known for plant-based burgers, have secured millions in funding.
We sat down with Ethan Brown, CEO of Beyond Burger to discuss the company’s success where we learned why he started the plant-based brand. Listen below.
Although these burgers by companies like Beyond Meat look very much like the rare meat patties (they even bleed,) they aren't a real thing. As Beyond Meat says the burger "looks, cooks, and satisfies like beef." These companies don't pretend to have the beef taste down– at least for now.
That's where "cultured meat" comes in. This is lab-created meat from cell cultures versus being directly from animals.
"The concept of cultured meat was only known (unaided) by 13% of the study participants. After receiving basic information about what cultured meat is, participants expressed favorable expectations about the concept. Only 9% rejected the idea of trying cultured meat, while two-thirds hesitated and about quarter indicated to be willing to try it," writes the Journal of Integrative Agriculture about a 2013 study.
Besides getting consumers to get past the idea that the meat was created in a lab, biotech's are struggling to keep the cost down for these burgers. In 2013, there was a live tasting of a lab-grown burger that had the steep cost tag of $330,000.
Then there's the name. What will these burgers be called?
"Cultured meat" sounds like a science experiment. Names like "artificial meat," "alt meat," or "clean meat" are possibilities. But should meat even be in the name at all?
"The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association worries that the term “meat” will confuse consumers since these products will directly compete with traditional farm-raised meat. The industry group prefers what are perhaps less-appetizing terms, like “cultured tissue," writes "The Daily Beast."
Read more about the progress of lab-created meat now.