Eat Just has announced a significant first: over the weekend, the company partnered with chefs at iconic Singaporean hawker stalls to launch dishes made with cultivated GOOD Meat chicken products across the island nation. Select hawkers will alternate approximately every two months for limited runs.
The first Eat Just collaboration was with Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice over the weekend. The stall has been in Tiong Bahru since 1946 and is now run by the owner’s son. It is moving with the times to serve its famous curry, using GOOD Meat cultivated chicken, priced at SG$4 (approximately US$3).
The heritage of hawker stalls
A celebrated part of Singaporean culture, hawkers offer an egalitarian dining experience. During the pandemic, many hawkers were forced to close, creating a significant downturn in fortunes and wellbeing. Eat Just has revealed that part of its motivation in partnering with stallholders is to help recoup lost ground. A charitable donation was made to the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre last year, but engaging in pop-ups allows stalls to recover under their own steam.
The event at Loo’s proved popular, with all available dining slots selling out. It paves the way for new events to be announced via Eat Just’s website as and when confirmed. Hawker stalls traditionally serve a lot of meat and seafood-heavy dishes. The introduction of cultivated alternatives could be the dawning of a new era of slaughter-free dining within Singapore.
Eat Just’s continued progress
As the only company globally to have been granted approval to sell its cultivated meat products to consumers, Eat Just is leading the pack. The company has sought to put a number of key developments in place to maintain its position, as and when approvals are granted elsewhere, though this is proving slow. Singapore remains the one country prepared to give market access to cultivated products. Eat Just has benefitted with two of its developments to date, both chicken-based, over the last two years.
Behind the scenes, the company has been busy. It announced chef José Andrés as a new board member in December. Shortly before, it secured a partnership to build a cultivated production facility in Qatar. Both moves allow for fast market access when regulatory approvals begin to roll out. In particular, Andrés coming on board, as he has pledged to serve GOOD Meat chicken in at least one of his U.S. restaurants.
Most recently, Eat Just has secured Kyler Murray as its latest athletic ambassador. The Arizona Cardinals quarterback is an advocate of clean, healthy foods, which he says Eat Just can help him to incorporate into his diet.
Embracing of meat alternatives
Singapore is a hub for conventional meat alternatives, including plant-based developments. Earlier this month, it was revealed that the country had gotten its first fully plant-based butcher’s shop and deli.
Love Handle opened to offer meats that can be cut, prepared and taken home to cook, like animal alternatives. The location offers proprietary foods, as well as branded items, including domestic giant TiNDLE, though all are given a Love Handle twist, and cannot be bought in the same format anywhere else. The CEO, Ken Kuguru has noted that although vegans and vegetarians are interested and very welcome, the location has been opened to tempt meat lovers away from animal-based dishes with a tasty alternative.
Most recently, Audra Labs revealed that it is working on a whole new production method for plant-based meats that offers a better depth of taste and lower production costs than 3D printing. It intends to launch whole cuts including streaky bacon and chicken, by 2023.
All photos by Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice/Eat Just.