Foodtech is starting to get ambitious.
After years of plant-based meat startups serving us ground “beef” and breaded nuggets, there’s a new wave of startups looking to create something closer to the real thing: whole cuts of meat.
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Switzerland-based Planted Foods, a 3-year-old foodtech startup known for its breaded schnitzel and convincing pulled “pork,” raised a $75 million Series B round to start making whole cuts of plant-based meat, such as seared chicken breast, TechCrunch reported on Thursday. The round was led by consumer brands-focused L Catterton, bringing total funding to $125.7 million, per Crunchbase data.
Making plant-based meat convincing
But making whole cuts of meat requires a level of ambition that’s much harder to achieve than ground meat. It requires creating the same stringy texture of chicken breast, or mimicking the varied tendons of steak, all while maintaining flavor and preserving the product’s shelf life.
But these startups are beginning to see more funding—Planted’s raise marks the third-largest influx of funding in the space so far in 2022.
In April, France-based Umiami announced a $30 million Series A raise for its rather convincing line of seared chicken breast that looks like—and pulls apart like—a regular chicken breast. Meati Foods announced in July it raised $150 million with the goal of creating whole cuts of steak and chicken.
But plant-based foods, like most consumer goods, are suffering from the recent economic turbulence. Per Crunchbase data, startups in the space have only raised $7 million so far this year, a 58% decrease from the same time period in 2021.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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Author: Keerthi Vedantam