Mitsubishi, Aleph hope to bring cultured beef to discerning Japanese palates

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In Japan, conglomerate Mitsubishi has partnered with Israeli cultured meat startup Aleph Farms to bring lab-grown beef to the country’s markets and restaurants. 

Under the terms of the deal, Mitsubishi and Aleph will collaborate to create formulations that appeal to Japanese consumers and meet regulatory requirements. The two will then leverage Mitsubishi’s infrastructure for production and distribution.  

Forecasts by Blue Horizon Corp. estimate the global lab-grown meat market will reach $140 billion in the next 10 years. 

Aleph CEO Didier Toubia told Bloomberg  that Japan is among the company’s most promising target countries.  Japan’s appetite for beef is high, but discerning—the country is home to famous choice cuts such as Kobe and Wagyu—so Aleph is taking the time to ensure its product is up to snuff. “We might be the third or fourth company to release a product, but that’s because we’re focused on consumer acceptance,” Toubia said. “They have high expectations for their meat, and we want to get it right.”