Wild Type food for thought #2

Winter edition, part 2 of 5: supply and demand

The number of companies developing cellular agriculture technology continues to grow. But, are these companies building capacity in the right places? In our last post, we made the business case for a new form of meat and fish production. Today, we explore the geographic distribution of today’s largest cell-based meat and fish companies and evaluate whether these firms are building supply that can meet tomorrow’s demand for animal protein.

The chart below shows the geographic location and protein focus of the twelve cell-based meat and fish companies that have teams of three or more people. The underlying data come from publicly available sources including LinkedIn and company websites, so apologies to our peers if we don’t have the numbers exactly right. These figures should, however, provide a general sense of where today’s talent is located.

There is a significant concentration of cell-based meat companies in the United States. The rest are located in three countries: the Netherlands, Israel, and Japan. If we look at where the majority of people are working, the concentration is even more stark. More than half of the people working in the cell-based meat field work in the San Francisco Bay Area.

But, where is demand for meat and fish growing the fastest?

This chart overlays growth rates in per capita meat and fish consumption. Countries colored in green are those that are experiencing the fastest growing demand for fish and meat. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these countries are located in Asia, South America, Africa, and the Middle East. With the exception of our Israeli counterparts, most of us are pretty far from the fastest growing markets.

So what?

There are at least three implications from this finding.

First, those of us based in the United States will need a plan for meeting rapidly growing demand in countries like China, Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Turkey.

Second, it begs the question of where companies like ours should be building pilot facilities. Should we build them in our backyards because these are the markets we know best, or should we look farther afield to tomorrow’s fastest growing markets?

Third, if you know something about how to produce and sell food in one of the countries in green, there will likely be an interesting job for you in our field in the coming years.

In our next post, we will continue the discussion of talent by diving into the distribution of today’s jobs in cell-based meat. We’ll also provide our perspectives on how this talent landscape might evolve over the next five years.