Germany’s Hydrosol, a developer and international supplier of food stabilizers and texturing systems for meat, dairy, and alt proteins, is presenting its product development services and ingredient solutions to improve the functional properties of hybrid products.
According to Hydrosol, due to cost considerations, cultivated meat companies will introduce products made with a mix of cultivated and plant proteins to the market first. However, these hybrid products must satisfy consumers’ expectations by replicating the taste and experience of traditional meat.
Hydrosol argues that closely resembling the texture, fibrousness, frying behavior, and mouthfeel of conventional meat is crucial for consumer acceptance of cultivated meat and thus, these hybrid products.
According to Katharina Schäfer, an expert in cellular agriculture at Hydrosol, consumer acceptance is the biggest challenge in the industry.
Her research on the topic has found that public awareness, knowledge, ethical and ecological concerns, and emotional factors will influence the acceptance of cultivated meat. However, the nutritional advantages and close resemblance to traditional meat will significantly impact positively on its adoption. For example, one of the advantages of cultivated meat is that its composition can be adjusted to deliver health or taste benefits. A cultivated steak could contain omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. This will convince many consumers, says Schäfer.
With its focus on improving the functional properties of products and its extensive experience in the meat and plant-based protein industries, Hydrosol’s services will be invaluable in developing and improving these innovative products. Additionally, the expertise and synergies with its sister company, Planteneers, will allow Hydrosol to offer comprehensive solutions to its cultivated meat customers.
“Studies show differences in consumers’ willingness to try cultured meat. While in Brazil and Switzerland about three-quarters of people would be willing to try meat from cell cultures, in Germany and India the number is not as high but still over half. In the US and Great Britain, on the other hand, it is only about 40 percent. What’s more, willingness to try something can only be considered the lowest level of acceptance. Making a purchase is the next highest, and the highest is consuming something regularly and thus replacing a familiar product with it,” shares Schäfer.
A market product between 2028 and 2030
Schäfer says that Switzerland and the UK could lead European cultivated meat as the first applications for approval were submitted recently in these countries. As regulations and technology advance, cultivated meat will become a mass-market product between 2028 and 2030.
Optimistic prognoses see cultured meat becoming a significant player by 2040. Furthermore, experts predict that with a sales share of 35%, it will almost catch up to conventional meat at 4%, while the remaining quarter comprises vegan meat alternatives, adds Schäfer.
“Acceptance of this disruptive innovation will be critical to achieving this kind of market success. There are various factors that can favour future sales growth. The most important ones are government and regulatory measures, investment, and innovations that make scaled production of more varied products possible,” emphasizes Schäfer.vegan meat meat protein plant-based dairy cultured cellular alt cultured meat shares investment industry