Memphis Meats, a US-based cultured meat company, has announced that it has renamed itself as UPSIDE Foods, and is ready for business with its first product – cultured chicken.
The company chose chicken for commercialisation because it is rapidly becoming the meat of choice for consumers around the world, and its versatility makes it suitable for a wide range of recipes and culinary applications spanning geographic regions and styles. Cultured or cultivated meat is made from real animal cells without the need to slaughter an animal, and is not a plant-based or vegan alternative.
Established in 2015 by Uma S Valeti, an Indian-American cardiologist, UPSIDE Foods is one of the pioneers in the cultivated meat segment. With this major milestone, they have also announced that UPSIDE Foods’ chicken will be available to consumers this year, pending regulatory review.
In a statement, Valeti said, “Our team introduced the world to cultured meat, and the evolution to UPSIDE Foods communicates our passion and potential to make our favourite foods healthier for the planet. Our new name showcases the work we are doing to make eating meat a force for good. We can’t wait for consumers to try our UPSIDE chicken soon. If you love chicken and the planet, UPSIDE is for you.”
With meat demand expected to double in the next 30 years, current production methods would prove to be highly unsustainable. To create sustainable meat at scale, UPSIDE Foods has set up a pilot plant in the San Francisco Bay Area. The custom-built plant will produce, package and ship cultured meat at a larger scale than any other company in the industry, all under one roof.
UPSIDE Foods says that it is “committed to completely detaching our production process from animal slaughter”. The company claims to have already developed processes that do not require fetal bovine serum and is working to phase out the use of all animal components altogether. “Our aim is to bring animal component-free products to market as soon as we can,” it says.
“We want to become the preferred brand for the next generation of meat lovers,” added Maria Occarina Macedo, Director of Brand and Creative at UPSIDE Foods. “And we wanted our brand to reflect the essence of what our product and company is all about: delicious, sustainable and humane meat for everyone. The future of food is all about activating the upside.”