AUSTRALIA, Melbourne. Australian-based start-up, Magic Valley is the “world’s first cultured lamb company,” according to a press release from the company. This start-up is working to cultivate lamb protein using animal cells grown in a nutrient-rich culture but without the use of the controversial Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS) growth medium.
Magic Valley is currently raising a seed round from investors to complete their prototype development with the first products expected to be available on shelves in the next 1-2 years reports ingredientsnetwork. Its products will include mince, strips, steak and chops.
“Given Australia’s excellent reputation for food safety, security and producing quality sheep, lamb was the obvious choice for the company’s first product range,” said company founder Paul Bevan in a statement. It is also the case that Magic Valley has the first-mover advantage in a sector that has, up until now, focused primarily on beef and chicken.
Although Research and Markets data show the 2020 global beef ($308.5 bn.) and chicken ($310.7 bn.) markets outpace that of lamb at $96.5 bn., lamb is still a substantial revenue stream for a company looking to provide a protein alternative.
Lamb also presents a unique opportunity for Magic Valley since this protein source is generally more expensive than other options. As such, the start-up may be able to reach price parity with the animal protein counterpart more easily than companies working with chicken protein. It is also worth noting that a pair of studies released in March commissioned by the Good Food Institute and European animal rights group GAIA found that by 2030, the cost of cell-based meat may drop $2.57 per pound thanks to economies of scale.
With prices falling and the environmental benefits of cell-based meat continuing to show staggering improvements over traditional animal husbandry, investment in cell-based meat companies continues to creep up. If consumers prove to increase their interest in these products and cultured meat expands its regulatory approval outside of Singapore, there is a good chance that Magic Valley finds some investors that are willing to take a bite.