Whole Food Mushroom Root Protein Maker Meati Rolls Out Across Sprouts Nationwide
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Mycelium protein company Meati Foods is launching chicken-like cutlets and beef-like steaks made from mushroom root at Sprouts grocery stores across the US.
Meati Foods, which makes whole-food animal protein products from mycelium, says that its range of mushroom-based beef steaks and chicken cutlets is now available at 380 Sprouts Farmers Market stores across the United States after a successful pilot last summer.
The company’s retail-ready range, dubbed Eat Meati™ includes alternatives to beef and chicken such as a Classic Cutlet, a Crispy Cutlet, a Classic Steak and a Carne Asada Steak. The products will be sold in the frozen meat aisle of Sprouts stores.
Meati is using the term mushroom root on its packaging as it believes this will be best understood by its audience.
“The high demand for Meati products at our early Sprouts locations in Colorado made it clear that people have been waiting for a differentiated, animal-free protein that tastes great while delivering an outstanding nutritional profile,” said Scott Tassani, Meati’s president and COO.
Meati uses fermentation technology to produce meat-like products made primarily from mycelium, the root portion of a type of mushroom. The company says it can transform “a teaspoon of spores into hundreds of cows’ equivalent of whole-food protein” in a mere few days using what it describes as “a nearly infinitely scalable platform”.
“We look forward to continuing to demonstrate how well Meati complements a broad spectrum of preparations, within the weekly rotation for meat-eaters and non-meat-eaters alike,” added Tassani.
Tassani is extremely bullish on Meati’s potential, predicting in early 2022 that the company could reach $1 billion in sales by 2025.
‘Repeatedly sold-out online’
The company launched at select retail locations last July, but this marks the first time consumers will be able to purchase the products in-store across the country. Previously Meati’s line was available online (where the company says its products would “repeatedly” sell out and the plan is to do a national omnichannel rollout in late 2023. The company works with food service providers who feature their mushroom-based protein on their menus; this past November, Meati debuted its Carne Asada Steak at the Sweetgreen salad chain.
“At Sprouts, our focus has always been on bringing the latest and best in fresh, natural and organic food to our customers,” said Kristen Zoldan, Sprouts’ Category Manager of Meat. “Meati products exemplify this mission, and we’re delighted to play a role in introducing the brand to the world.”
Meati Science Advisory Board
Last week the company shared it had formed a Meati Science Advisory Board (MSAB), made up of leading nutrition and food science scientists, in order to research the health benefits of mycelium and its nutritional features as a whole-food protein source.
Joining the board are Dr. Harold Schmitz, chairman of the MSAB, is a General Partner at The March Group and Senior Scholar in the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), Dr. Carl L. Keen, Professor Emeritus in the UC Davis Department of Nutrition, who worked on California’s Proposition 65, Dr. Roberta R. Holt, Associate Researcher in the UC Davis Department of Nutrition, Dr. Justin Siegel, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine at the UC Davis Genome Center and Dr. John Munafo, Flavor Science Director at the University of Tennessee Department of Food Science.
Dr. Justin Whiteley, CTO and co-founder of Meati Foods said of the new board: “At Meati, we believe consumers and the environment win when we invest in rigorous scientific understanding of our products, and the MSAB was created with that goal in mind.”
Chef’s Collective and a new production facility in 2023
In January of this year, the company announced the opening of a large-scale production facility in Colorado that it said could “rival the output of conventional animal farms”.
In February, Meati shared a new chef-led “Meati Culinary Collective” by food industry stalwarts David Chang, Tom Colicchio, Evan Funke and Charlie McKenna which would give its consumers the chance to taste Meati in products created by the chefs.
This comes on the heels of a $150 million Series C in July of last year, which included backing from Chipotle’s Cultivate Next Fund. The fast-casual leader said it would work with Meati to accelerate its production, create new products and assist with retail expansion.
“Meati was founded on a commitment to develop food solutions good for the health of people and the planet, and we are excited to strengthen this commitment by working with the MSAB to unlock the vast potential of our mycelium and mycelia in general,” said Dr. Justin Whiteley, CTO and co-founder of Meati Foods. “At Meati, we believe consumers and the environment win when we invest in rigorous scientific understanding of our products, and the MSAB was created with that goal in mind.”