Startups that produce lab-grown meat and meat substitutes are gaining traction and raising cash in global markets, mirroring a surge of support food tech companies are seeing in the United States.
New partnerships with global chains like McDonald’s in Hong Kong, the launch of test kitchens in Israel and new financing rounds for startups in Sydney and Singapore point to abounding opportunities in international markets for meat alternatives.
In Hong Kong, fresh off a $70 million round of funding, Green Monday Holdings’ OmniFoods business unit was tapped by McDonald’s to provide its spam substitute at locations across the city.
The limited-time menu items featuring OmniFoods’ pork alternatives show that the fast food chain remains willing to offer customers vegetarian and vegan sandwich options — so long as they live outside of the U.S. In its home market, McDonald’s has yet to make any real initiatives around bringing lab-grown meat or meat replacements to consumers.
Speaking of lab-grown meat, consumers in Tel Aviv will now be able to try chicken made from a lab at the new pop-up restaurant The Chicken, built in the old test kitchen of the lab-grown meat producer SuperMeat.
The upmarket restaurant doesn’t cost a thing: it’s free for customers who want to test the company’s blended chicken patties made with chicken meat cultivated from cells in a lab that are blended with soy, pea protein or whey, according to the company.