“For cultured meat to gain mainstream market acceptance, it needs to out-perform conventional and plant-based meats on multiple levels” says Sagentia Innovation

08 October, 2021

Cultured meat could enable serious challenges facing the global food system to be overcome sooner if manufacturers build strategic partnerships to support its journey to mainstream.

Experts at Sagentia Innovation, an R&D consultancy that works with leading food businesses and technology start-ups in the sector, say industry collaboration will accelerate progress. At present, while there have been some exciting breakthroughs in cultured meat production and market approval, the overall picture is fragmented and uncoordinated. Companies that work decisively, quickly, and strategically to address this stand to be forerunners in the category.

Health, sustainability, and animal welfare concerns have driven growth in alternative categories such as plant-based meat and dairy in recent years. Cultured meat has the potential to improve on plant-based meat in terms of sensory, nutritional and sustainability factors, but there are significant issues that need to be addressed. These range from technical factors affecting products’ taste and texture to the enhancement and validation of sustainability and nutritional credentials. Consumer acceptance, cost of production and regulatory frameworks pose additional challenges.

To help food manufacturers looking to innovate in this space, Sagentia Innovation has published a free whitepaper, From barn to bioreactor. It outlines recent developments in cultured meat, and highlights gaps that could hinder further growth and wider uptake.  

Phil Mackie, Managing Partner, Food and Beverage at Sagentia Innovation acknowledges that the challenges are significant. However, he says the potential size of the market means cohesive strategies incorporating manufacturing technologies, scientific studies and consumer education have much to gain. 

“For cultured meat to really take off, it needs to out-perform conventional and plant-based meats on multiple levels,” Mackie explains. “For sustainability claims to stand up to scrutiny, manufacturing methods need to minimise energy and water consumption. Nutritional claims will have to be backed up with scientific evidence. Naturally the taste, texture and appearance of end products is crucial. And ultimately, the products need to be affordable.”

Mackie believes these hurdles can be overcome if organisations invest in the shared objective of securing a sustainable food future. He says food manufacturers with specialist expertise will play a critical role enhancing the prospects of cultured meat.

“Some of the most exciting activity is currently happening in the start-up space, and larger food businesses are watching the market closely with an eye on acquisitions. However, established players also have an active role to play, enabling new technologies and approaches to be implemented at scale. For instance, food businesses with knowledge of fermentation could win significant market share if they develop smart collaborations.”

Sagentia Innovation’s whitepaper, From barn to bioreactor, is available at /insights/from-barn-to-bioreactor-the-new-frontier-in-food/



For more information or images contact Mary Hamblyn, +44 (0) 7748 848 768, [email protected]

About Sagentia Innovation

Sagentia Innovation provides independent advisory and leading-edge product development services focused on science and technology initiatives. Working across the medical, industrial, chemicals and energy, food and beverage, and consumer sectors, Sagentia Innovation works with a broad range of companies from some of the world’s leading and best-known brands, to start-up disruptors, new to the market. It is part of Science Group (AIM:SAG), which has more than ten offices globally, two UK-based dedicated R&D innovation centres and more than 400 employees. Other Science Group companies include Leatherhead Food Research, TSG Consulting and Frontier Smart Technologies.


About Science Group plc

Science Group plc (AIM:SAG) is a science-led advisory and product development organisation. The Group has three divisions:

  • R&D Consultancy: providing advisory, applied science and product development services cross-sector helping clients derive maximum return on their R&D investments.
  • Regulatory & Compliance: helping clients in highly regulated markets to launch, market and defend products internationally, navigating the frequently complex and fragmented regulatory ecosystems.
  • Frontier Smart Technologies: designing and manufacturing chips and modules for the DAB/DAB+ radio markets with 80% market share (excluding the automotive market)

With more than 400 employees worldwide, primarily scientists and engineers and speaking more than 30 languages collectively, the Group has R&D centres in Cambridge and Epsom with more than ten additional offices in Europe, Asia and North America.


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