On August 5, 2013, a culinary milestone was etched into history as a team of visionary Dutch scientists from Maastricht University, under the leadership of Dr. Mark Post, presented to the world a groundbreaking creation: the very first cultivated meat burger. This monumental achievement, a culmination of tireless research and experimentation spanning decades, marked a pivotal turning point in the future of food.

Ten years have passed since that day, and the cultivated meat landscape has transformed beyond recognition. The initial burger, a testament to human determination, sparked an unprecedented surge of interest, investment, and innovation. Today, the cultivated meat industry is a thriving testament to human innovation, with companies ready to revolutionize our approach to protein production.

Transforming the Way We Eat, Sustainably

The numbers speak volumes. 156 cultivated meat companies have emerged, substantially increasing from the 107 recorded in 2021. These innovative producers, scattered across 26 diverse locations, encompass a global community united by a shared mission: to redefine sustenance for a burgeoning world population.

In terms of financial backing, the figures are equally staggering. Since 2016, cultivated meat startups have secured $2.78 billion in venture funding. Notably, the Asia-Pacific region and Europe have emerged as pioneers in cultivating support, driving funding and shaping the future of protein production.

The heart of this revolution, however, is rooted in the East. Governments in Japan, South Korea, China, and Malaysia have wholeheartedly embraced the promise of cultivated meat, providing financial and regulatory backing to foster its potential. Yet, it was Singapore that etched its name in history books in 2020, being the first nation to green-light the sale of cultivated meat, followed by the U.S. in 2023.

As we look back on the journey that started on that significant August day, it’s clear that the cultivated meat revolution has just begun. The road ahead is full of both opportunities and challenges, as the industry moves forward toward the important goal of a more sustainable protein supply chain. In this pursuit, Lever remains a solid partner and supporter of startups in Asia, investing in and launching new alternative protein businesses for a more environmentally friendly and compassionate world.


This work happened because of the support of people like you. Please consider donating today to build a more humane and sustainable protein supply in Asia.