Company Unveils Growth Strategy for Plant-Based Eggs and Cultured Meat – Exclusive Interview with CEO
Located in the Umm Alhoul Free Zone, the hub will include a full-scale facility for Eat Just’s GOOD Meat, its cultured meat division, and potentially a protein processing facility for JUST Egg, the egg-based division. company plants.
According to Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO, the company is committed to manufacturing and distributing meat and egg products in the Middle East region.
The company has sold the plant equivalent of 160 million eggs worldwide and is looking to increase brand awareness and presence in this region.
At present, its regional presence is weak. The company entered Qatar through an importer this year and is available at small retailers such as Mega Mart in Doha.
However, Tetrick told us: “We will partner with a few major food manufacturers and distributors in the region to distribute eggs, and when the meat is approved, distribute the meat thereafter.“Said Tetrick FoodNavigator-Asia.
“The plan is to start in more urban cities like Doha, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Kuwait, and get into high-end cafes and retailers. “
“We will also work with sports and music influencers, and organize activation events in the field, adapt recipes to different local cuisines, to provide diners with an immersive experience.. “
Beyond the Middle East, the company is also focused on scaling up its egg products around the world.
Each year, the company launches an improved version of JUST Egg, offering taste, texture and flavor. Version four will be released this year.
For its cultured meat division, GOOD Meat, regulatory hurdles remain its biggest challenge for manufacturing and exports.
However, that is about to change as Qatar is on the verge of being the second country in the world to endorse GOOD Meat’s cultured chicken ingredient.
Singapore was the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval for its chicken ingredient grown last year. The product is now sold there in restaurants.
The Qatar Free Zones Authority and the Ministry of Public Health have indicated their intention to grant regulatory approval for GOOD Meat cultured chicken soon and have officially granted an export license for the pioneer product.
The GOOD Meat team is currently identifying restaurants in Qatar that would be ideal launch partners in the Middle East.
At the new hub in Qatar, the large-scale facility will initially produce GOOD Meat’s chicken ingredient, exporting to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and potentially to Europe and Asia.
The process of making cultured chicken begins in a bioreactor where animal cells are immersed in a “growth medium”, comprising amino acids, fats and vitamins. There are no antibiotics, growth hormones or GMOs.
In four to six weeks, cells will naturally grow and divide in the bioreactor, creating GOOD meat. These harvested cells are then molded or 3D printed to create the final product.
“We see the MENA region as a fundamental part of our mission to move from the industrialized animal system to one that is much more sustainable, healthier, more aligned with the food security interests of the region.Said Tetrick.
The cluster will be staffed with research and development, engineering and business development professionals.
Although before production could begin, Tetrick explained the challenges: “In all the markets we aim to produce, we want to move as quickly as possible to large-scale facilities, which can produce at least 10 million pounds per year.
“But the The limiting step in building a large-scale facility is the design and engineering of the bioreactor. We are therefore in the process of developing these bioreactors on a large scale.
Eat Just is also keen to explore other animal proteins at its meat factory grown in Qatar.
“Our interest is ultimately to produce all the main animal proteins, whether beef or lamb. The installation in Qatar will initially do chicken because it is the most consumed protein in the world, but we hope to eventually make other animal proteins as well.. “