Zacks Research Projects This Stock to Trade at Over 3X Its Current Price
Policymakers and environmental organizations are encouraging the development of sustainable protein sources and low-impact animal meat production methods. According to a recent study by Emergent Research, the global food technology market will be worth $342.5 billion by 2027.
In this emerging market, cultured meat, also known as cultivated meat or cell-based meat, is gaining traction. A number of startups have invested in creating technologies to produce alternative meat sources in order to reduce the environmental problems associated with animal farming, simplify the supply chain, and create more healthy, hygienic, and safer food choices.
However, most cultivated meat companies are only producing ground or minced meat (also known as “unstructured” meat) and have stopped short of developing high-quality “structured” cultured meat products, such as steaks.
MeaTech 3D (NASDAQ: MITC), a company that has emerged as a key player in the cultured meat sector, is developing 3D bioprinting technology and tissue engineering processes to enable the mass production of high-quality slaughter-free whole cuts of pork, chicken and beef. The aim is to mimic the taste, smell and texture of farm-raised meat and to replace industrialized livestock farming.
Because cultured meat eliminates the need to breed, raise, and slaughter animals, it is expected to have a significantly lower environmental impact and, according to studies, require 63%-95% less land. Furthermore, if renewable energy is used, cultured meat production is projected to reduce global warming by 92% compared to conventional meat production.
In the coming years, the sustainable meat market is predicted to grow in popularity due to increased adoption and investment in improving the quality of plant-based meat substitutes and cell-based meat. According to Research and Markets, the global cultured meat market is expected to reach $275 million in 2025, growing at a CAGR of 21.2%.
MITC Stock Performance
Zacks estimates MITC’s value at $14 based on the market opportunity and MeaTech’s positive outlook. Yet the stock is down 24% this year to $4.16.
This could be because the market is still in its early stages, and many people are unfamiliar with cultured meat and are hesitant to try it. MeaTech is a pre-revenue, development-stage food tech company, and given the relatively small market adoption to date of alternative meat, investors may be skeptical about how and when the company might gain market share and become profitable. MeaTech recorded a net loss of $17.8 million at the end of 2021, compared to $18.5 million at the end of 2020 and had $19.2 million in cash and equivalents.
The company has recently made strategic investments, including the acquisition of Peace of Meat, a Belgian firm that has made significant progress in the development of cultured avian fat directly from egg cells. In July 2021, the wholly owned subsidiary produced slightly more than 700 grams of pure chicken fat biomass in a single production run. Peace of Meat has signed a term sheet agreement to build a 21,530-square-foot pilot plant and R&D facility to scale up cultured fat biomass manufacturing by 2023. All in all, the acquisition has accelerated MeaTech’s entry into the cultured meat products market.
MeaTech also reported back in December that the company printed a 3.67 oz cultured steak made from cultured muscle and fat tissues. More recently, the company announced plans to expand its footprint into the U.S. with a new facility that will provide access to more R&D opportunities and business development. The company is likely to start generating commercial revenue from cultured meat products by 2024.
As the cultured meat industry continues a steady uptick, it is projected that by 2040, 60% of global meat consumption will be based on products grown from cells in bioreactors and sold in grocery stores and restaurants around the world.
McKinsey & Company Cultured Meat Market Forecasts
McKinsey & Company forecasts that the global addressable market for cultured meat might reach $25 billion by 2030, and Zacks estimates that MeaTech’s revenues in 2030 could surpass $500 million if the company is successful in gaining a 2% market share. The company seems to be headed in the right direction to create long-term value for shareholders. Yet as with any young company, its stock might remain volatile for a number of years ― something that is generally expected from companies at this stage in the game.