Chef David Chang Adds Extra Flavour To Meati’s Official Market Launch Of Mycelium Superfood Whole-Cuts
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Boulder-based Meati has launched its proprietary mycelium whole-cut meat substitutes, with some help from chef David Chang.
Meati’s Classic and Crispy Cutlets are now available, direct-to-consumer, with a steak analogue anticipated for later in spring. The low-calorie superfood-charged cuts are all made using harvested mycelium, for a realistic texture and chew.
The launch comes after a highly anticipated pre-order round in February this year. Thousands of cutlets sold out in under 24-hours, proving out potential popularity for the products. The subsequent full-scale launch represents Meati’s ambitions to offer a sustainable, healthy and minimally processed alternative to conventional meat, to all consumers.
Driving recognition with David Chang
Simultaneous to its consumer launch, Meati has announced a working collaboration with internationally respected chef, David Chang. The founder of Momofuku, he has joined Meati as an ambassador, to develop multiple content projects. Previously, he helped launch the Impossible burger in 2016, so has heritage in supporting innovation in the plant-based sector. The timing and link-up feel appropriately aligned, as Chang has recently looked at the future of food in his new Hulu food series.
Consumer education is cited as a chief concern for new content, alongside demonstrations with the products themselves. Cooking tutorials and recipes are already being published across Meati’s social channels, with more to follow.
“I’ve been closely following plant-based innovations for years and can say without hesitation that the food Meati delivers is unmatched in terms of ingredients, texture and taste,” Chang revealed in a statement. “I’m thrilled to be part of the team and mission and want to bring the power of Meati to life as people prepare it in their home kitchens.”
From restaurants to retail
Meati has already found itself a presence in two Colorado restaurants. SALT Bistro and Birdcall both put the mushroom-root meat on their menus as part of Meati’s strategic plan to carve itself a market-leading position by 2025. Adding retail distribution into the mix will allow the company to grow at a faster pace, especially as distribution channels increase.
“It’s such an exciting time of growth here at Meati as we officially enter the market and build breakthrough launch plans with key commercial partners across channels,” Scott Tassani, President of Meati, said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to what’s to come in near-term collaborations, as we pilot our offerings and set our sights on new market expansion later this year.”
Meati has set its sights on cornering a niche within the plant-based meat sector. It is focused on offering a minimally-processed, whole-food alternative that doesn’t compromise health for flavour. The company cites “diversifying the alt-protein category” with groundbreaking nutrition as a primary objective.
“Today’s national debut has been years in the making, and we’re eager for people at home to try Meati and feel the difference our whole-cut, whole-food nutrition delivers,” Tyler Huggins, CEO and co-founder of Meati said in a statement.
Meati in full bloom
The direct to consumer launch comes after an exciting few months for Meati. In July last year, it secured $50 million to build an 80,000 sq ft fermentation facility. At the time of the fundraising completion, Meati noted that it would play a major role in helping the startup to make its deadline of commercial launch by 2022. That has now been realised. Previously, the company snagged $28 million in a Series A that followed secret restaurant trials.
It’s not all been plain sailing, however. Earlier this month it was reported that Meati and The Better Meat Co. are currently engaged in a legal battle, centred around potential IP theft. The former has levelled an accusation that a former associate has gone to work for its rival, taking the proprietary mycelium harvesting technique that underpins its products. The Better Meat Co. denies the accusation and has fired back with its own lawsuit. The Californian startup has accused Meati of trying to sabotage its fundraising efforts with unfounded claims of IP theft. The case continues.
All photos by Meati.