LONDON — Cultivated meat company Meatly and sustainable, novel protein pet food company Omni announced the development of a new pet food made with cultivated chicken protein. According to the companies, the product marks the first cans of pet food to use cultivated chicken as a protein source.

For Meatly, the new product represents a significant step toward its growth, with the company aiming to become the first company in the world to sell cultivated meat for pet food, as well as gain regulatory approval and sell cultivate meat-based products in the United Kingdom and Europe.

For Omni, the product marks its first venture into the cultivated meat market. Founded in 2021, the company has focused on using novel ingredients, like pulses, plants, yeasts and algae, to develop more sustainable pet foods. Since its founding, Omni has achieved more than £2 million in sales ($ USD) and has grown to expand its ethical and environmentally friendly product portfolio.

The new product is a canned wet food for cats that contains Meatly’s cruelty-free, cultivated chicken ingredient. 

Omni partners with Meatly for cultivated cat foodSource: Omni

“Meatly’s ingredient is incredibly exciting to us at Omni, not only because it represents a virtually infinite, cruelty-free source of meat but also because it can be optimized for health,” said Guy Sandelowsky, DVM, co-founder of Omni. “This means more essential vitamins, minerals and Omegas, and an elimination of the troublesome components that can be found in traditional meat, such as antibiotic residues. We see the ingredient of particular importance to the cat food market, which lacks credible alternative protein solutions currently.”

Through its cultivated protein ingredients, Meatly aims to address the pet food industry’s rising environmental impact, as well as its reliance on industrial agriculture. According to the company, 22% of the meat currently consumed in the United Kingdom is consumed by pets, accounting for a significant amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 

“It is incredibly exciting to see the first ever cans of cultivated pet food fly off the production line,” said Owen Ensor, co-founder and chief executive officer of Meatly. “This is a major milestone for cultivated meat globally and shows that we are ready to sell product.

“As demand continues to grow, with pet food already accounting for 20% of meat produced globally, so too does the industry’s environmental impact,” he added. “Cultivated meat gives pet parents an easy choice — high quality, tasty, nutritious and sustainable pet food. We’re thrilled to work with innovative companies like Omni to make this a reality as soon as possible.”

Once the product has been granted regulatory approval, it, along with other pet foods that use Meatly’s cultivated proteins, will be available throughout the United Kingdom, according to the company. As an investor in Mealty, Pets at Home plans to be the first retailer to offer these cultivated pet foods in its stores.

“We are excited to be a part of Meatly’s journey and are looking forward to being the first retailer to offer their products in our pet care centers," said David Wainwright, commercial director at Pets at Home. “While it is still early days, we are committed to helping drive change in the industry and finding sustainable alternatives to replace some of the protein used globally in pet food would be a major step forward.”

Read more about product development, ingredients and formulation.