One of the leading manufacturers of 3D printed alternative meat products, Redefine Meat, has raised $135 million to further its vision of transforming the food system and meeting the growing demand for non-conventional meat sources. As of today, the Israeli-based startup’s New-Meat products can be found in over 120 restaurants in Israel, the Netherlands, Germany, and the UK. However, to further expand the brand, Redefine Meat will use the new capital to set up two production factories in Israel and the Netherlands for its 3D printed plant-based line of products and expand its collaborations with more restaurant chains in Israel and other parts of the world.
Although news of the investment was revealed by Israeli media site Globes on January 23, 2022, and confirmed by Redefine Meat’s CEO and co-founder Eshchar Ben-Shitrit shortly after, the multi-million dollar Series A extension funding round was actually completed on August 23, 2021. Spearheaded by returning lead investor Hanaco Venture Capital, a Tel Aviv backer of early-stage technology companies, the round also had participation from Synthesis Capital, a UK seed investor of food technologies. Surprisingly, the fake meat brand pulled in the funding just seven months after raising $29 million in a Series A round, bringing its total funding to date to over $170 million.
Pioneering the production of plant-based whole cuts, Redefine Meat has already launched its ground beef, burger, kebab, cigar, and sausage products and will soon release four new meatless types of meat, including a lamb flank and beef skewer. With so many options, there really is something for everyone, from Mediterranean lamb flavors to the classic taste of Middle East beef-filled pastries, all of them praised by Michelin-star chefs in Europe and Israel. The product line includes plant-based ingredients like soy, coconut, barley-gluten, and mustard, and much of the upcoming line of new cuts, like the beef flank, are high in protein and fiber but leave behind preservatives and cholesterol commonly found in natural meats.
Redefine’s story began in 2018 when Ben Shitrit and co-founder Adam Lahav set out to find a new way to create meat. By steering clear of any animal-derived product, the duo faced the challenge of creating alternative meat cuts, including steaks. However, replicating the complex structure of real meat using plant-based ingredients and proteins was not easy. Still, eventually developed advanced food formulations and 3D printing technology to recreate the flavor, texture, aroma, and appearance of traditional meat.
Just months after its inception, Redefine revealed its first 3D printed plant-based steak, and by 2020, it had achieved a printing speed of 10 kilograms per hour. Prior to commercialization in 2021, the startup’s funding was mostly destined for the construction of its first factory, which uses proprietary industrial-size 3D printers to scale the business. Today, it boasts six food industrial 3D printers worldwide to make its line of fake meats.
Unlike other alternative meat brands, Redefine is not focusing on just one type of meat cut or only making ground beef burgers; it aims to replace the entire cow with its New-Meat concept. For that purpose, Redefine relies on proprietary 3D printing technology, meat digital modeling, and advanced food formulations to produce animal-free meat with the appearance, texture, and flavor of whole muscle meat steaks. Sometime in the future, the Rehovot, Israel-based startup, expects to sell its proprietary system and plant-based “inks” to meat distributors worldwide.
Today, New-Meat products thrive in 86 Israeli restaurants, hotels, and bars, including Tel Aviv’s first boutique hotel Montefiore and burger bar chain HaBurganim. Additionally, Redefine Meat has gotten top reviews from high-end and Michelin-star chefs, including legendary British chef Marco Pierre White, world-renowned chef and Dutch TV personality Ron Blaauw, Berlin’s celebrated head chef of FACIL Restaurant and two-Michelin star recipient Joachim Gerner, and Israel’s famed chef Shahaf Shabtay, owner of the Mess Shanghai Restaurant in Shanghai’s Pudong New Area.
According to Globes, the brand even caters to the canteens of tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Apple. With an ever-growing list of places ready to serve Redefine Meat’s New-Meat dishes, it’s no wonder the company went from only ten employees in 2019 to 140 this year, including a new team in Europe.
While many businesses, meatpacking plants, and processors of poultry, pork, and beef were forced to scale back production in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Redefine Meat increased its workforce, anticipating a growing demand in the alt-meat sector. The move towards this type of product has its roots in the 1970s, but it is now that we are witnessing a massive trend following dozens of reports warning about the dire consequences to the planet of eating massive amounts of meat.
Much like competing firms creating fake meats, Redefine Meat believes the world deserves a new kind of meat that is good for the environment, kinder to animals, but still delicious. Perhaps what makes the brand stand out is that the majority of its talented team still loves meat, so the business makes enormous efforts to keep the taste but not the meat processing system, and that is making a big difference.
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