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How much do cultured animal products cost in 2020?

by Tetraspace Grouping 1 min read30th Jun 20201 comment

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A year ago, I asked How much do current cultured animal products cost?. Historically, the price of cultured meat has been dropping quickly, from perhaps $1e6/kg in 2013 to to $100/kg in 2019, so it's possible that even over just this year there's been significant movement in prices. The top result on Google for this, published shortly after my question last year, has a claim Mosa Meat and Biotech Foods that by 2021, the cost of cultured meat will reach $10/hamburger.

I'm especially interested in comparing any prices to Animal Charity Evaluator's 2017 forecasts about the availability of cost-competitive cultured animal products (each of these are 90% confidence intervals):

  • More than half of the main broad types of conventional acellular animal products will have at least one cost-competitive cultured alternative in 2.5–30 years.
  • More than half of the main broad types of conventional ground meats will have at least one cost-competitive cultured alternative in 4–50 years.
  • More than half of the main broad types of conventional whole pieces of farmed animal muscle tissue will have at least one cost-competitive cultured alternative in 10–70 years.

As of 2020 (3 years after the publication of the post), how much progress has been made towards cost-competitiveness in these three categories?

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We don't really know. Cell ag companies haven't been releasing cost estimates lately. A lot of progress has been made, though. Most of the cost comes from the growth factors in the culture media, and Mosa Meat has been working on their own media formulation, plus a bunch of growth factors/media manufacturers have sprung up to supply the industry.

I'd like to note that most of the movement between '$1e6/kg in 2013 to to $100/kg in 2019' can be explained by labour costs and moving from bench-scale to larger-scale production (i.e. buying lab supplies in bulk).