UPSIDE Foods, a pioneer in the cultivated meat industry, has achieved another significant milestone in its journey toward commercialization. The company has received label approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its cell-cultivated chicken, marking a significant step forward in the regulatory process.

This approval follows the historic “green light” UPSIDE Foods received from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2022. The company is now working with the USDA to secure a Grant of Inspection (GOI) for its Engineering, Production, and Innovation Center (EPIC). This GOI is the final regulatory hurdle before UPSIDE Foods can commence commercial production and sales of its cultivated chicken in the United States.

UPSIDE Foods’ cultivated chicken is grown directly from animal cells, making it a real meat product that doesn’t require the raising and slaughtering of animals. The approved label will allow UPSIDE Foods to begin commercial production and sales as soon as it receives the GOI from the USDA. The company’s chicken will bear the USDA mark of inspection on its packaging once it passes USDA inspection.

Dr. Uma Valeti, CEO and Founder of UPSIDE Foods, expressed excitement about the USDA’s approval of their label. He emphasized that the company’s top priority is to create a more humane and sustainable food system. The next step for UPSIDE Foods is to secure the USDA’s GOI for its facility, which will pave the way for commercial production and sales, allowing consumers to taste UPSIDE’s cultivated chicken for the first time.

Upon completion of the final regulatory step, UPSIDE’s cultivated chicken will be launched in limited quantities through select restaurant partners, starting with three-Michelin star Chef Dominique Crenn’s restaurant Bar Crenn in San Francisco. The company plans to share more details about the launch at a later date, including information on how consumers can be among the first to try UPSIDE’s cultivated chicken.

This announcement follows a series of milestones for UPSIDE Foods, including a $400M Series C funding round that valued the company at over $1 billion, and the expansion of its product portfolio to include ground cultivated meat products. The company is also working with the FDA and USDA to bring its next consumer products to market, including sausages, nuggets, and dumplings.

UPSIDE Foods, based in Berkeley, CA, is committed to creating a better food system with access to delicious, humane, and sustainable meat, poultry, and seafood. The company has raised a total of $608 million from various investors, including the Abu Dhabi Growth Fund (ADG), Baillie Gifford, Bill Gates, Cargill, Future Ventures, John Doerr, John Mackey, Kimbal and Christiana Musk, Norwest, Richard Branson, Softbank, Temasek, Threshold, Tyson Foods, and others.

Source: UPSIDE Foods Press Release