Swiss food giant Nestle is innovating its product lines to include cell-cultured meat, according to a Bloomberg report that revealed the multinational conglomerate will begin developing cultured meat alongside its growing range of plant-based products.

Nestle will begin working with the Israeli start-up Future Meat Technologies Ltd. to produce the new cultured meat, which is meat made in the lab, not raised on the farm. Nestle confirmed in a statement to Bloomberg that it’s working with the company moving forward to develop “innovative technologies to produce cultured meat or cultured meat ingredients with several external partners and startups.”

Nestle’s CEO Mark Schneider is reportedly hoping to meet the demand of a rising shift away from animal-based meat products. As concerns regarding environmental sustainability and personal health rise, consumers have begun adopting plant-based lifestyles more frequently. Beyond plant-based eating, the consumer interested in cell-based meat is rising at a significant rate. According to an analyst at consultancy firm Kearney, the alternative protein industry may reach 35 percent of the $1.8 trillion meat market by 2040, and Nestle’s product development is an attempt to gain substantial investment in that growth.

Future Technologies Ltd. launched the world’s first cultured meat production facility last month, reigning in a new era of alternative protein products. The company claims that its factory will have the ability to produce 500kg of cell-based protein daily, roughly equal to 5,000 burgers. The cell-based factory involves placing animals cells in a bioreactor to then replicate and produce the cultivated meat product.

“After demonstrating that cultured meat can reach cost parity faster than the market anticipated, this production facility is the real game-changer,” Future Meat Technologies Ltd. founder Yaakov Nahmias said.

The partnership aims to develop a protein product that emulates the taste and texture of conventional meat products without animal involvement. The cell-based meat industry is gaining popularity due to its focus on sustainability, but currently, the United States is in the process of certifying the distribution. The Future Meat factory created its method to grow non-GMO cultured meat with minimal need for land and no need for animal slaughter.

“For many years we have been investing in our protein expertise and the development of proprietary technologies for plat-based meat alternatives, allowing us to continuously expand our wide range of tasty and nutritious products with a lower environmental impact,” Nestle Institue of Material Sciences head Reinhard Behringer said. “To complement these efforts we’re also exploring technologies that could lead to animal-friendly alternatives that are nutritious, sustainable, and close to met in terms of taste, flavor, and texture.”

The Good Food Institute found that cultivated meat companies raised $360 million last year, growing six times in value from 2019 to now. Other companies like Eat Just have pushed research and development for cultivated meat, which currently can only be sold in Singapore. Following its success, the company’s GOOD Meat brand is being considered for distribution by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the near future. The GOOD Meat debut would mark the first time the FDA approved widespread development and distribution of cultured meat.

Continued investment is critical to ensure that cultivated meat can meet the moment--providing a more sustainable, safe, and secure way of feeding people with far fewer greenhouse gas emissions, far less land and water required, and no contribution to antibiotic resistance and pandemic risk,” executive director of the Good Food Institute Bruce Friedrich said back in May.

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