Last week, the FDA and the Department of Agriculture agreed to jointly outline regulations surrounding cell-based meats. A growing trend and feat of science, the development was initially a response to present practices of raising and farming animals for meat. The hope was that lab-raised meats created from animal cells would yield a more affordable, humanitarian product. But with cell-based meats yet to hit stores or restaurants, now industry leaders are wondering if and how these products will be received by consumers.
National Restaurant Consultants president David Kincheloe agrees that this is a valid concern. "The trend is toward a more natural, simple lifestyle," he says. "And the idea of meat made in a science lab doesn't exactly give you that feeling."
Despite uncertainty around mainstream acceptance, the technologies are developing and all related industries are preparing. Trying to get out in front, this is why the FDA and other regulatory agencies are working to create the correct terminology and rules around the creation of cell-based meats and how they will be integrated into food strores and restaurants. This, according to Forbes, comes in light of some cell-based protein companies preparing to launch by next year.
Kincheloe says it will hit the restaurant industry, though perhaps on a longer timeline. "Within the next five to ten years, we will see these products in restaurants," Kincheloe says, noting that FDA regulations are necessary. "We would hope that the FDA regulations would include rules about how restaurants will be required to list these products on their menus."
He added that while some may see cell-based proteins as a humanitarian ploy, what it will actually come down to is cost. "We really anticipate seeing cell-based meats showing up in quick-serve restaurants where low cost options are always a factor."
With questions of when and how still up in the air, this certainly is a trend to follow and stay on top of. Our restaurant consultants keep a close eye on all of the leading trends in the restaurant industry. To work with a restaurant consultant, contact us today.
Photo by Louis Reed