Stem cells secrete a variety of signaling factors that can influence the behavior of surrounding cells, known as paracrine signals. In high-density bioprocesses, these secreted factors can accumulate to concentrations that can dramatically influence productivity and behavior of neighboring cells. By mapping the secretome of animal myoblasts, adipocytes, and other stem cells used for cultivated meat, a better understanding of which factors influence proliferation, differentiation, and other cellular traits can be obtained. Mapping efforts will inform how to best leverage this knowledge to improve cultivated meat production.
Guaranteed offtake agreements, where buyers commit to purchase a volume of product, can help secure loans for infrastructure and other high-cost projects.
Brands, dedicated private labelers, and co-manufacturers can take advantage of the private labeling opportunity, and would benefit from developing a wide range of products to fit every category and access to R&D to meet unique needs of customers.
Crop plants used as recombinant protein production hosts could offer benefits of minimal processing, cheaper equipment, and fewer downstream purification costs.
Plant-based meat snacks could tap into underlying trends in snacks replacing meals and increased consumer interest in high-protein, low-sugar foods. Product innovation is needed to match the taste, price, and availability of animal options.
Opportunities exist to coordinate product development partnerships between ingredient suppliers, strategic partners, and product manufacturers to directly engage more holistically on product formulation.
Open-access blueprints would provide a head start on facility design and allow equipment manufacturers and engineering companies to address standard industry needs.
Metabolic and physiological characteristics of microbial strains define the commercial potential of any fermentative process, but only a minimal number of strains have been scaled up for commercial production of alternative protein. To broaden the spectrum of available microorganisms, systematic investigation into the physiology of novel microbial strains is needed to identify strains suitable for fermentation.
Companies entering the alt protein space often struggle to secure line time at demonstration-scale and mid-scale commercial production facilities. Greater availability of mid-scale contract capacity would reduce capital outlays and facilitate scaling, allowing alt protein companies to maintain greater control over their equity and exercise more influence within the supply chain. Contracting production allows for a more modular supply chain, with participants achieving gains from specialization, allowing for better financial and organizational structuring around core competencies.
The success of early-days products has demonstrated strong consumer interest, but investment is needed to enable alternative protein supply chain companies to build out the infrastructure needed to capitalize on this opportunity. In particular, there is a need for debt-based financing that can be structured to support large infrastructure projects.