Cultivated icon Cultivated

“Rainbow roll 2.0” showcase for cultivated seafood

Given the nascent market for cultivated meats, especially for cultivated seafood, a “Rainbow Roll 2.0” product could be an attractive market-entry commercial product.

Production platform
  • Cultivated icon Cultivated
Solution category
  • Commercial
Value chain segment
  • End Products
Technology sector
  • Bioprocess design
  • Cell line development
  • Scaffolding
Relevant actor
  • Startups
  • Industry
Maturity level
  • 0 – Complete whitespace

Current challenge

Currently, cultivated meat is a budding yet promising technology for alternative protein. However, given that these products are still in their early stages of development and require substantial technological and R&D investment, market-entry products that are easily feasible should be developed to showcase the technological potential and test consumer interest. Considering the high costs of current cultivated meat production and the limits on the types of end products that can be produced, less complex but high end products are the ideal initial market entries.

Proposed solution

For cultivated seafood, thin sheets of cultivated fish for layering on the outside of maki rolls could be an attractive market-entry commercial product. The product could optionally incorporate cells from several fish species in a striped or gradient pattern as a modern take on the rainbow roll. This could be envisioned as a “Rainbow Roll 2.0”, where the traditional rainbow roll of sushi topped with slices of a variety of fish would be replaced with cultivated fish sheets. Producing thin sheets of tissue is more technically straightforward than thicker muscle cuts, and this product category commands high price points, which could make the high prices for cultivated meat more palatable for consumers. Cultivated production presents particularly strong food safety advantages for seafood products that are consumed raw, which may contribute to high consumer receptivity. Cultivated fish would not have the parasite risk associated with wild caught sushi fish or the toxin risk associated with farm-raised fish.

Anticipated impact

Recently, the first cultivated meat product was approved for commercial sales in Singapore. This triggered a flood of global media coverage and sent positive safety and normalizing signals for regulatory, consumer, and food industry audiences.

As a technical proof of concept and a highly engaging media opportunity, the development of a “Rainbow Row 2.0” or similar sushi products utilizing thin sheets of cultivated fish would help cement cultivated meat’s reputation as a high-potential technology in an appealing and feasible way.

GFI resources

2021 cultivated meat and seafood state of the industry report cover

State of the Industry Report: Cultivated Meat

This global analysis of the cultivated meat industry covers investments, consumer insights, and scientific progress in this growing market sector.

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