Tyson Ventures, the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods, has invested in food tech start-up Memphis Meats, a leader in cultured meat produced directly from animal cells.
Tyson, which last year invested in meat alternative brand Beyond Meat, said the move is an example of its “commitment to explore innovative, new ways of meeting growing global demand for protein”.
San Francisco-based Memphis Meats expects to use the funds to accelerate product development. The company is currently recruiting to expand its team of chefs, scientists, creative people and business people.
It produces beef, chicken and duck from animal cells. The company grows meat in tanks by feeding sugar, oxygen and nutrients to living cells.
Last August, Memphis Meats completed a $17 million fundraising round which included investment from Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Cargill.
Tyson Foods chief sustainability officer Justin Whitmore said: “We’re excited about this opportunity to broaden our exposure to innovative, new ways of producing meat, especially since global protein demand has been increasing at a steady rate.
“We continue to invest significantly in our traditional meat business, but also believe in exploring additional opportunities for growth that give consumers more choices.”
Memphis Meats CEO Uma Valeti added: “We are excited that Tyson Foods will be joining us in our mission to bring meat to the table in a sustainable, affordable and delicious way.
“Our vision is for the world to eat what it loves, in a way that addresses today’s challenges for the environment, animal welfare and public health. We are accelerating our work and building out a world-class team to make this a reality.”
Memphis Meats has said its process of creating meat uses about 1% of the land and 10% of the water needed for conventional meat production.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019