Cultivated meat is at an inflection point. Companies are shifting focus from feasibility to unit economics and scale-up. We estimate that cultivated meat can reach a price of $29.5/lb with already commercialized technology and approaches, which is cost-competitive with whole cuts like filet mignons and tenderloins, but still 6x more expensive than ground beef. For cultivated meat to reach mass consumption, it must be cheaper.
Ark’s techno-economic analysis (TEA) demonstrates four ways to bring down the cost of goods sold (COGS) well below the $29.5/lb baseline:
Reduce the cost of media
Improve biomass yields
Optimize the bioprocess
Reduce capital spend (depreciation), primarily through larger bioreactors
Ark’s TEA is distinct in that it leverages achievements from industrial-cell culture to determine a baseline, and models out COGS for a larger factory (50K MT of annual output) with larger bioreactors (up to 1M liters) and different modes of production (batch, fed-batch, perfusion, continuous).
$29.5/lb COGS is a baseline: Using known cell-culture achievements from the pharmaceutical industry provides a baseline upon which further price reduction can be achieved
No silver bullet: Advancements across media, bioreactors, cells, and bioprocess are all needed to reach price parity
Media is the biggest contributor to COGS: Reducing costs to ~$1/L in conjunction with other improvements can support cultivated meat reaching price parity
The biggest lever to reduce CapEx is increasing the size of bioreactors: Larger bioreactors also reduce COGS through lower depreciation and reduced labor needs
Cell density needs to match or exceed high-performing cell lines in the pharmaceutical industry
Differentiation can meaningfully improve unit economics: Impact will vary based on mass increase and speed of process
A fed-batch or continuous process is the most cost effective: Fed-batch is superior in most cases but continuous has the benefit of requiring less CapEx and needing a smaller footprint
You can read more by downloading the full version below.
Download a full version
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.