Cultured Meat Market Growth Forecast
Cultured meat refers to meat created using cell culture techniques within a laboratory or manufacturing facility. It is produced by taking starter cells collected from cattle, chicken, pigs, fish, and lamb, as well as other types of livestock and seafood and using specialized bioprinters and incubators to create clean, slaughter-free animal products. In addition to meat and seafood production, cultured meat techniques can be used to ethically manufacture other types of animal products, such as leather, as well as animal byproducts, including lab-grown milk, bee-less honey, and hen-free egg whites for starters. Cultured meat is more ethically and sustainably produced than traditional animal agriculture because livestock is not used within the manufacturing processes beyond collecting the initial cells required as input into the cell culture.
According to Markets&Markets Research, the global cultured meat market is estimated to be valued at USD 214 million in 2025 and is projected to reach USD 593 million by 2032, recording a CAGR of 15.7% from 2025 to 2032 in the normal scenario. The growth of this market is attributed in part to the numerous startups that are entering the market, as well as an uptick in interest and investment by meat-industry giants such as Cargill and Tyson Foods as well as hedge funds and other institutional players.
Various other factors that are expected to drive the global cultured meat industry include innovations in cellular agriculture and the rising inclination toward animal welfare and environmental sustainability. Rising consumption of meat coupled with increasing demand for nutritional meat is expected to support the market growth during the forecast period. This growing trend of protein consumption is expected to present several opportunities for various meat processors and food companies to invest in alternative meat protein such as cultured meat to fulfill consumer demand.
By source, the poultry segment is projected to account for the largest share in the cultured meat market. The poultry segment is expected to dominate the global cultured meat market, based on the source, during the forecast period. This is attributed to the growing popularity of poultry products in various quick-service restaurants, and has encouraged manufacturers to develop innovative alternative products to meet (or should I say meat;) future demand from consumers. The cultured chicken products are expected to have a lower price as compared to other sources and gain wide popularity around the globe.
Additionally, the rise in demand for animal protein increases the demand for poultry products. This is further expected to accelerate the market growth of cultured meat worldwide. Moreover, the rising demand for chicken meat, owing to the rapidly growing urban population in developing countries, is expected to support the cultured meat market globally. The trend of dining out and high R&D investment by companies such as Tyson Foods and Cargill are some of the key factors that are expected to boost the poultry segment as well as other segments of the global market space in North America.
The demand for nuggets is increasing significantly as an important processed meat product. Thus, North America was expected to be the largest market for cultured meat in 2021. Chicken continues to be the most popular meat product among consumers in the US and the other North American countries. Nuggets is one of the primary forms, in which chicken meat products are consumed in various countries.
Due to the increasing adoption of on-the-go lifestyle and consumption of snacking products, particularly in the US, consumers are looking for options that are convenient to eat anytime. Thus, key companies such as Tyson Food (TSN) and Cargill (CGR) are focusing on investing in developing clean meat or cultured meat chicken products in the form of nuggets to attract consumers. Hence, the North American region is projected to dominate the market for cultured meat nuggets during the forecast period.
The number of startups focused on developing cultured meat and specifically nuggets (and the required cell culture media, supplements, and methods to produce them) has been rising year after year. There are now an impressive 99 companies worldwide developing cultured meat components, services, and end-products, compared to only a handful on the mark as recently as five years ago.
Let’s talk about one players in particular that was the first ever cultivated meat company to go public, and is now listed on NASDAQ. MeaTech 3D (MITC) is a global deep-tech food company that develops slaughter-free meat products such as cultured fat, hybrid, ground, and whole cuts of meat, and of course nuggets. They are doing this by applying biotechnology and cutting-edge bioengineering techniques in a bid to develop scalable cellular agriculture tech that will eventually serve as a practical replacement for industrialized animal farming.
In order to boost broader market awareness about the nature of and prospects for cellular agriculture, MeaTech enjoys celebrity backing and has partnered with actor and entrepreneur Ashton Kutcher who will help them become a global leader in cultured meat production. Just last month they held a “first-of-its-kind” tasting event with its Israeli anchor investors, offering samples of hybrid chicken nuggets created with plant protein and cultured chicken fat biomass developed by their subsidiary.
Lately they’ve been expanding their international footprint of operations, and recently announced the establishment of a new US facility in California that will help catalyze R&D efforts moving forward. MeaTech has also begun to take steps towards strategic penetration of the European market. For instance, its Belgium subsidiary, Peace of Meat, recently signed a term sheet agreement to complete a 21,530 square foot pilot plant and R&D facility by 2022 to scale up manufacturing of cultured fat biomass.
MITC seems to be undergoing share consolidation over the past few weeks after having gained over 10% month-to-date. Given this price action behavior and the previous highs we’ve seen from the stock, it would be reasonable to conclude that the stock is gaining momentum as investors acknowledge the growth potential of the company and the sector. It seems that this recovery may just be starting, and it positions the stock currently as potentially undervalued and a unique buying opportunity for any investor looking for a sustainable future.
On a concluding note, the cellular agriculture revolution is about much more than the current deplorable state of the meat industry. It’s about sustainability and long-term food security. Just this week Janet Yellen voiced her concerns over a looming global hunger crisis as a result of supply-side disruptions in Ukraine and Russia. Combine that with growing concern over the carbon footprint of the food industry, and cellAg emerges as a leading solution to these twin challenges. The global lab grown meat market size is a very nascent stage at this point but holds tremendous potential down the road from investment as well as food-security perspectives. Its about time we started putting our money where our mouths are.
Disclaimer: this article is the expression of my personal opinion and should not be construed as financial or investment advice.