Skip to main content

Cell-cultured lobster company bought by sector leader Upside Foods

Caught lobsters. Cultured Decadence is working towards growing lobster meat from cells, which it says would be cheaper.
Caught lobsters. Cultured Decadence is working towards growing lobster meat from cells, which it says would be cheaper.

The opportunity for consumers to eat cheaper, cell-cultured lobster meat got closer this week when sector leader Upside Foods bought cultivated seafood start-up Cultured Decadence, which specialises in shellfish.

Upside Foods, formerly known as Memphis Meats, recently opened $50 million Engineering, Production & Innovation Center (EPIC) in California.

According to a press release, the technology at EPIC – said to be the world’s most advanced facility for producing cultivated meat, poultry and seafood – will be capable of producing Upside’s existing products and Cultured Decadence’s full species portfolio.

The team at Cultured Decadence. Photo: Cultured Decadence.
The team at Cultured Decadence. Photo: Cultured Decadence.

Lower price point

Wisconsin-based Cultured Decadence utilises the cells of shellfish, such as lobster, to make real meat without the shell or organs, boasting higher nutritional quality and at a lower price point compared to current products.

The acquisition by Upside will allow Cultured Decadence to expand and complement Upside’s offerings, while accelerating research and commercialisation of cultivated seafood products.

“Cultured Decadence’s technology is incredibly promising, and their team is filled with passionate, smart individuals who want to make our favourite food a force for good,” said Dr Uma Valeti, founder and chief executive of Upside Foods in an article on the Vegconomist website. “We’re thrilled to welcome the Cultured Decadence team to the Upside family and are excited that the scientific, technological, and production infrastructure we have built over many years can help accelerate the mission impact of this team.”

Accelerated commercialisation

“Upside’s unparalleled R&D and scale up capabilities will significantly accelerate the commercialisation of cultivated delicious, sustainable and humane seafood,” said Cultured Decadence co-founders John Pattison and Ian Johnson.

“There’s nobody else we’d rather join to build the future of food.”

The control centre at Upside Foods' $50m  Engineering, Production & Innovation Center in California. Photo: Upside Foods.
The control centre at Upside Foods' $50m Engineering, Production & Innovation Center in California. Photo: Upside Foods.