What You Need to Know About Cell-Cultured Meat for Your Restaurant

As a restaurant owner or distributor, it can be hard to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies that can impact your business. Lately, cell-cultured meat has been at the center of a major trend in the food service industry. Cell-cultured meat has the potential to revolutionize the restaurant industry, so it’s important to understand what it is and what it means for you.

What Is Cell-Cultured Meat

Cell-cultured meat, also known as lab-grown meat or clean meat, is meat that’s produced by growing animal cells in a lab.  This is done by taking a small sample of cells from an animal, such as a cow or chicken, and placing them in a nutrient-rich environment that allows them to grow and multiply. These cells are then placed in a cultivator, where they’re grown into a meat product that can be harvested and processed. 

Compared to traditional animal agriculture, cell-cultured meat has many benefits! It requires less land and water and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than conventional meat production. It also eliminates the need for antibiotics and growth hormones, which can be harmful to both animals and humans. 

Cell-Cultured Meat vs. Plant-Based Meat Alternatives 

While cell-cultured and plant-based meat alternatives are both marketed as sustainable and ethical alternatives to conventional meat, they differ in their production methods and nutritional content. Like the name suggests, plant-based meats are typically made from a combination of vegetable proteins, fats, and other ingredients that are designed to taste and feel like meat. Meat grown on a lab, on the other hand, is real meat that’s produced through artificial cell growth. 

Lab-Grown Meat in the Restaurant Industry 

While cell-cultured meat is still relatively new, several restaurants and food companies are already exploring its potential uses. In Singapore, for example, cell-cultured chicken nuggets have already been approved and are moving into retail environments. In the United States, Upside Foods is one of several companies working to bring cell-cultured meat to the market. 

However, there are still several challenges that need to be overcome before it can become a mainstream food product. One of the biggest obstacles is cost – lab-grown meat is much more expensive than conventional meat. There are also regulatory concerns, as lab-grown meat is still a new product that may require new regulations and safety measures.

Consumer Attitudes Towards Cell-Cultured Meat 

While some consumers may be hesitant to try a new product like cell-cultured meat, some studies show that there is a growing interest in healthy and ethical food products.  A recent survey conducted by the Good Food Institute found that 45% of consumers would be willing to try cell-cultured meat, with many citing health benefits as their main reasons for interest. 

Potential Benefits for Restaurants Offering Cell-Cultured Meat

By offering cell-cultured meat on their menus, restaurants can differentiate themselves from competitors and appeal to consumers who are interested in more sustainable and eco-friendly food options. While the initial cost of incorporating cell-cultured meat into restaurant menus may be high, there is potential for cost savings in the long term as the technology continues to develop and becomes more affordable. 

Incorporating Cell-Cultured Meat into Your Menu

If you’re interested in including cell-cultured meat in your menu, there are several things to consider. 

First, it’s important to ensure that you’re sourcing your meat from a good supplier that sticks to all the necessary safety and regulatory standards. Second, teach your staff and customers about the benefits of lab-grown meat and how it differs from conventional meat and plant-based meat alternatives. Finally, it’s important to experiment with different dishes and preparation methods to determine what works best for your menu and customer base. Some chefs have simply used cell-cultured meat as a substitute for traditional meat dishes, such as burgers or meatballs, while others have developed entirely new dishes that showcase its unique flavor and texture. 

Embrace the Future with Help from Your Local Distributor!

While there are still several challenges, cell-cultured meat’s health, environmental, and ethical benefits make it an attractive option for restaurants looking to be different and attract customers that value its benefits!  

At NCCO, we’re committed to providing high-quality products and solutions to help restaurant owners and distributors stay on the cutting edge of innovations in the restaurant industry. 

Contact us or speak with your local distributor to learn more about our innovative products and how we can help your restaurant thrive.