Redefine Meat, a food 3D printing firm developing animal-free meat, has conducted a successful large-scale blind-tasting of its Alt-Meat products in partnership with Israeli meat distributor Best Meister.
The two companies set up a food truck in a suburb of Tel Aviv in Israel branded with the catchphrase “There’s a new meat in town”, which gave members of the public the opportunity to try a range of Redefine Meat’s Alt-Meat products. With over 600 visitors, the truck sold out in less than five hours.
As a result of the initiative’s success, Redefine Meat and Best Meister have now formed a strategic partnership that will see Best Meister distribute the Alt-Meat products commercially to Israeli restaurants and high-end butchers.
“We believe Alt-Meat should taste as good as animal meat – simple as that,” said Eshchar Ben-Shitrit, CEO and Co-founder of Redefine Meat. “Redefine Meat has achieved that with every product it has put to the test, transitioning the Alt-Meat conversation from health and sustainability and the view that ‘this is really close’ to ‘wow this meat is super delicious’. The incredible results of the food truck exemplify this.”
3D printed Alt-Meat
Redefine Meat was founded in 2018 with the aim of addressing the sustainability of the meat industry. The firm began developing plant-based meat alternatives using 3D printing which emulate the appearance, texture, and flavor of steaks and roasted meat.
In 2019, Redefine Meat raised $6 million in seed funding to advance the development of its alternative-meat 3D printer, which reportedly has a 95 percent smaller environmental impact than animal meat and eliminates cholesterol concerns. Last year, the company unveiled its first industrially 3D printed Alt-Steak product comprised of the firm’s own set of formulated plant-based ingredients – Alt-Muscle, Alt-Fat, and Alt-Blood. More than 70 taste parameters have been digitally mapped into Redefine’s “meat”, which is 3D printed using the firm’s patented technology.
The Israeli 3D printed food scene has taken off in recent years, with further developments from fellow startups SavorEat and Meat-Tech 3D at the end of last year. In December, SavorEat raised $13 million in its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange while Meat-Tech successfully printed a centimeter-thick cultured beef structure. Meat-Tech has also announced plans to acquire cultured fat developer Peace of Meat in order to get a foothold in the global protein alternatives market.
There’s a new meat in town
For their blind-tasting initiative, Redefine Meat and Best Meister set up the food truck with the initial aim of achieving 200 tastings across two days. The truck offered staple Mediterranean meat foods cooked to order in the form of Alt-Meat products, unbeknownst to the customers. In order to truly test the “meat” experience, the products were served with little condiments or extras in order to focus customer senses on the Alt-meat’s appearance, flavor, and texture.
The truck sold out in less than five hours after more than 600 people visited the food truck and purchased nearly a thousand servings of “meat”. According to Redefine Meat, consumer feedback revealed the Alt-Meat products were comparable to animal meat in terms of taste, texture, and mouthfeel once it was revealed the meat products were in fact plant-based.
Revenue from the event was donated to local restaurants that had been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We initially only expected 100 visitors a day, as the event was held in a small village due to Covid-19 restrictions,” said Ben-Shitrit. “But through word of mouth, we ended up receiving over 600 customers in one day – with queues as long as 50 minutes. What this has shown is that meat lovers can enjoy our alternative meat because it tastes and feels like meat – not solely because it is better for the environment or animals.”
Bringing Alt-Meat to the masses
The success of the blind-tasting event has led to the formation of a strategic partnership with Best Meister which will provide go-to-market infrastructure for the launch of Redefine Meat’s products to Israel’s culinary sector. Best Meister will begin commercially distributing the Alt-Meat products to restaurants and high-end butchers within the first half of 2021.
“We’ve been excited by Redefine Meat’s unique alternative meat offering for a while, but the food truck event cemented it for us,” said Ori Zaguri, Best Meister CEO. “Not only was consumer feedback overwhelmingly positive but Redefine Meat’s technology will laso provide us the scale to create a wide-variety of quality meat cuts for our customers on-demand from one single source.
“We believe the mass meat-eater market is ready for alternative meat of this quality and we are excited to be the first to deliver it to them.”
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Featured image shows Redefine Meat’s 3D printed animal-free meat comprises natural and sustainable ingredients that deliver the same appearance, texture and flavor of animal meat. Photo via Redefine Meat.