Redefine Meat has landed a major distribution deal for their lifelike 3D printed “alt-meat” products.
The Israeli company has been developing a replacement for animal meat based entirely on plant material. While this has been attempted previously, Redefine Meat’s secret sauce is their ability to 3D print meat structures that mimic actual meat textures.
Redefine Meat can 3D print alt-meat objects that are extremely close to actual meat in appearance, taste, texture and temperature behavior. You can even cook the products in the same way as animal meat and expect similar results.
Their approach is to 3D print large meat objects analogous to whole animal segments, which would then be sliced by butchers into smaller pieces like steaks. If you’ve seen any images of their experimental steaks, you’ll know they appear delicious, and according to reports from the company the alt-meat is quite tasty and can’t easily be recognized as alt-meat.
But is this really true? It turns out that Redefine Meat performed an undercover experiment in public to determine the perception of the product. They set up a food truck, without explaining anything about the 3D printed alt-meat’s pedigree, and waited to see what would happen.
According to Refine Meat:
“The truck boasted staple Mediterranean meat foods, cooked to order, which were in fact Alt-Meat provided by Redefine Meat. Putting the meat experience truly to the test, the meat was served with little to no condiments or extras – focusing consumer senses entirely on the Alt-Meat’s appearance, flavor and texture.
Driven purely by customer satisfaction and word of mouth, over 600 visitors attended the food truck and purchased close to 1000 servings of meat – selling out in less than five hours. Upon revelation that the meat products were plant-based, consumer feedback demonstrated overwhelmingly that the Alt-Meat products were comparable to animal meat on key metrics such as taste, texture, and mouthfeel – with over 90% acceptance rate. All revenue from the event was donated to support local restaurants badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Redefine Meat also announced a strategic partnership with a major Israeli meat distributor, Best Meister. Redefine Meat will supply Best Meister with 3D printed alt-meat, which they will distribute through their established network to meat providers throughout Israel.
This puts Redefine Meat into commercial production mode, a departure from their development phase that seems to now be concluded. While they are experts at developing the equipment, materials and process for 3D printing meat, they know less about how to get the products to market, and that’s why they’ve partnered with Best Meister.
Once they have the Israeli operation working smoothly, I’m expecting them to arrange deals with meat distributors in other countries. However, it’s not as simple as just shipping more alt-meat, because it turns out that there are slight regional differences in animal meat that consumers have come to expect. Because of these variations Redefine Meat will gradually develop regional-based recipes for alt-meat, opening those markets for new distributors.
I’m very interested to try Redefine Meats’ products, but it appears I will have to wait a bit longer before they get here.
Via Redefine Meat