BioCraft's cultivated mouse meat reaches price parity with premium pet food

Company said it reimagined the use of growth media to both cut costs and boost the nutritional profile of its mouse meat.

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“Achieving price parity and a robust nutritional profile for pets were the only elements holding back cultivated meat for the pet food industry — and BioCraft has now achieved both,' said Shannon Falconer, CEO.
“Achieving price parity and a robust nutritional profile for pets were the only elements holding back cultivated meat for the pet food industry — and BioCraft has now achieved both," said Shannon Falconer, CEO.
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BioCraft Pet Nutrition has achieved a breakthrough in its production process that allows it to make its cultivated mouse meat for dogs and cats at the same price as premium pet food.

According to a report at Green Queen, BioCraft (formerly called Because Animals) said its cultivated meat now has a sale price of $2 to $2.50 per pound, on par with premium meat in pet food. It has achieved this milestone by reimagining the use of growth media to both cut costs and boost the nutritional profile of its mouse meat.

“Achieving price parity and a robust nutritional profile for pets were the only elements holding back cultivated meat for the pet food industry – and BioCraft has now achieved both,” said founder and CEO Shannon Falconer.

The startup now aims to put its cultivated meat in branded pet food on shelves by early 2026.

According the Green Queen, one of the key processes to reduce costs when producing cultivated meat is to move away from animal-derived materials and provide nutrients from crops instead. This is something BioCraft focused on too, developing a nutrient medium composed of plant-based ingredients widely used in pet food applications and therefore already approved by food safety regulators.

In June 2023, BioCraft introduced a chicken cell line for both cat and dog foods. The cell-cultured chicken comes as a meat slurry, similar to that already used in the industry. Before developing the chicken cell culture line, BioCraft created mouse tissue in vitro. Geneticists have studied mice for decades and developed a greater knowledge of their DNA than most other animals. BioCraft’s team applied that biochemical knowledge when making cell-cultured mouse meat for use as a novel ingredient in cat treats

Other cultivated meat options in the pet food space

For the pet food industry, cell-cultured meat ingredients are close to becoming a reality.

In May, Meatly, a UK-based company that recently announced it created the world’s first cans of pet food that uses cultivated chicken as the protein source, reported it had developed a protein-free culture medium costing ÂŁ1 (US$1.26) per liter. Meatly's medium contains no serum, animal-derived components, steroids, hormones, growth factors or antibiotics, and is used in their suspension culture bioreactors without microcarriers. The absence of these expensive proteins, such as transferrin and insulin, as well as growth factors and microcarriers, means the production of Meatly's protein-free culture medium at an industrial scale is economically viable. Meatly believes further cost reduction will be possible when higher volumes of the medium are purchased

In February, Bond Pet Foods shipped its first two metric tons of cell-cultured animal protein to Hill’s Pet Nutrition, as part of a collaboration announced in 2021. The two metric tons of cultivated meat will allow Hill’s to formulate a variety of products at its Pet Nutrition Center in Topeka, Kansas, for evaluation. That data will be used for the ingredient’s eventual review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, as well as to prepare prototypes for market evaluation. In April, Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition and Bond Pet Foods partnered to develop tailored ingredients for pet food applications. 

In Fall 2023, CULT Food Science introduced its Noochies! brand, a freeze-dried, high-protein and nutrient-rich pet treat made without industrial farming. Noochies! incorporates patent-pending ingredients, Bmmune and Bflora, which are animal-free and designed to enhance digestion, immune system strength and overall pet health. 

In November 2023, Czech startup Bene Meat Technologies obtained a registration certificate from the European Union’s (EU) European Feed Materials Register, enabling the company to produce and sell cultured meat for pet food. The business is planning to open a new production facility this year to increase its output capacity.

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