India’s cultured meat industry has ‘tremendous potential’ to transform food system, study says

A report by technology business incubator CIIE.CO, in collaboration with GFI India, examined the potential of India’s cultured meat industry to transform the country’s food system.

The study explains how the industry could be advanced to make the food system more secure and sustainable, protecting against threats such as climate change, pandemics and economic instability.

But while cultured meat has “enormous promise”, investment will be needed to make it viable. To that end, the report says Indian scientists, government and industry will need to collaborate on a “smart protein mission.”

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Stakeholder analysis

The conclusions of the study were drawn by interviewing Indian cultured meat industry players such as academics, investors, startups, policy makers, etc. Speakers provided an analysis of the state of the industry, its future potential, and the support that would be needed to make change possible.

According to the report, India’s biopharmaceutical industry and talented scientists could make huge scientific breakthroughs – such as lowering production costs – that will help make cultured meat viable.

Perceptions of cultured meat in India

In 2020, a report found that almost half (48.7%) of Indian consumers would be willing to buy cultured meat, significantly more than in the West. Indian companies such as Clear Meat and MyoWorks are already working to bring home-grown produce.

Kartik Dixit, co-founder and CEO of ClearMeat
Kartik Dixit, co-founder and CEO of ClearMeat

A high proportion of Indians are vegetarians for religious reasons, and more than 100,000 students nationwide recently signed up for 10 weeks of Vegan Outreach to vegan India program. Kerry Southwest Asia recently said a “huge paradigm shift” away from animal products is underway in the country.

“We believe the time is right to accelerate the momentum around cultured meat and smart proteins in general,” said Vipul Patel, Seed Investing Partner at CIIE.CO. “Building on the immense potential that Indian research talent possesses, we hope to uncover and nurture many entrepreneurs in this field over the next few years.”

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