Don’t fancy cooking tonight? Too tired to head out to a restaurant? Feel like eating meat, but don’t want intensive animal farming on your conscience?
Singaporeans will be the first diners in the world able to answer ‘yes’ to all three questions and still sate their appetites by having meals featuring cell-cultured meat delivered to their doorsteps.
From Earth Day on April 22, they’ll be able to use Delivery Hero-owned app Foodpanda to order takeout from 1880, which became the first restaurant in the world to serve cell-based meat as a regular menu item late last year.
The Singapore Food Agency‘s greenlight for GOOD Meat was the world’s first regulatory clearance granted for an animal protein product that was cultured from cells in the lab, rather than produced using traditional farming methods and slaughter.
While 1880 started out serving GOOD Meat in the form of chicken snack bites, it will begin offering more complex dishes featuring the cellular ingredient for takeout via Foodpanda – including caesar salad, coconut chicken rice, and katsu curry.
In a further nod to the supposed environmental benefits of cell-cultured meat, Foodpanda will pack the dishes in “eco-friendly” boxes made of sustainably-sourced bamboo fiber and resin, and they’ll be delivered by e-bike.
Partners Eat Just and Foodpanda said in a statement that the dishes will be available to any of the latter’s users within 1880’s delivery range, for as long as limited stocks last. Each order will include a Google Cardboard VR headset enabling customers to watch a “360-degree immersive film that connects the delivery of GOOD Meat to the protection, preservation, and restoration of our planet’s wild spaces,” they added.
“Food is at the core of our business, and ensuring that we have a sustainable food ecosystem is an important agenda for us,” said Foodpanda Asia-Pacific CEO Jakob Angele.
“Together with Eat Just, we hope to bring this to more markets – not just in Asia, but also in every country in the world where Delivery Hero brands operate.”
Further GOOD Meat takeaway dishes from other restaurants are expected to become available for ordering through the Foodpanda app in the near future.
“Anything conventional meat can do, cultivated meat can do better, and now consumers in Singapore can get a taste of the future without leaving the comfort of home,” said Good Food Institute APAC acting managing director Mirte Gosker.
“This is a small but important proof of concept that should catalyze leaders from both the public and private sectors to invest the significant scientific resources needed to bring this smarter way of making meat to the masses.”
Last month, Eat Just raised $200 million for its most recent funding round, which was led by sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority, US private equity firm Charlesbank Capital Partners, and Vulcan Capital – a fund linked to Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen.
Until it gained regulatory approval for GOOD Meat in Singapore last December, the startup – which launched in 2011 – was perhaps better known for its plant-based egg substitute. In October, the company announced a partnership with a consortium led by agrifood investment firm Proterra which will see them invest up to $120 million to build a production facility for plant-based protein in Singapore aimed at serving manufacturers and distributors across Asia.