TORONTO — Because Animals Inc. is shifting focus from its pet treat and supplement brands and will now dedicate the entirety of its resources to the commercialization of its cultured meat technology.
The company discontinued its nutritional yeast-based products in late 2022, and recently agreed to sell provisional patents for those discontinued products to the company’s former co-founder Joshua Errett. Errett left Because Animals to join CULT Food Science Corp., an investment platform focused on cellular agriculture, in November 2022. Errett is now vice president of product development at CULT Food Science.
“Cultured meat is what our customers and future manufacturing partners have been asking us for, and this is what we're prioritizing,” said Sharon Falconer, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Because Animals. “The company's strength is our scientific prowess, and since scientific innovation is key to bringing cultured meat to market, we made the decision to apply laser focus to achieving that feat and to divest ourselves of any and all non-core assets that were not required to realize that objective.”
On March 28, CULT Food Science announced it had entered a binding agreement to acquire consumer brand assets, related patents, non-scientific intellectual property, and product formulations from Because Animals. This announcement, however, was misconstrued to imply that CULT Food Science had entered an agreement to acquire Because Animals the consumer brand, which is not the case, according to Falconer.
“We were surprised to see the announcement by CULT Food Science, ‘CULT Food Science Announces Binding Letter of Intent to Acquire Because Animals Consumer Brands and Formulations,’ as CULT was at no point involved in our divestiture, nor was Because Animals contacted by CULT prior to their publication,” Falconer said. “Although it's not clear from their press release, the consumer brand ‘Because Animals’ was not acquired.”
According to Falconer, Because Animals will retain all of its intellectual property related to the production of cultured meat, which remains at the core of the business.
“We are committed to revolutionizing the pet food industry with this technology,” Falconer concluded.
Following these two announcements, CULT Food Science on April 4 announced the debut of three new consumer pet food brands under its management. The brands include Noochies!, formerly owned by Because Animals, as well as Indiana Pet Food, and Marina Cat.
"These new brands and products are focused on providing better food options for our pets,” said Lejjy Gafour, CEO of CULT Food Science. “High quality inputs for pet foods can be hard to achieve using traditional sources such as '4D' meats. But cell-based ingredients can provide the potential for healthier and safer options for the pets we love. I am excited to launch these brands to further accelerate our mission of making cell-based foods part of everyday life."
Noochies! uses a patented cell-cultured nutritional yeast ingredient called Bmmune™, which is high in protein and offers all 10 essential amino acids for dogs. The ingredient also features B vitamins and bioactive ingredients to support immune health and digestion, respectively. The Noochies! portfolio will include supplements, single-ingredient treats and complete-and-balanced pet foods made with fermented proteins and cell-based yeast, which are all slated to launch in the third quarter of this year.
Indiana Pet Foods is a cell-based dog food and treat brand focused on the use of what CULT described as “teir-1 collagen.” Products are formulated with collagen specifically to support mobility in active and senior dogs.
Marina Cat is a “modern treat” brand for cats, according to CULT, using ocean-derived ingredients with the goal of supporting immune health and longevity in felines. The brand incorporates cell-based fish and marine ingredients into its cat treat formulas while avoiding high-impact ocean harvesting, CULT added.
"In the very near future, we will shake our heads at the amount of sketchy, environmentally hazardous meat we put into the pet foods of today," Errett added. "I totally believe the pet brands CULT is announcing today, are the future."
Read more about product development, ingredients and formulation.