Meet Gauri, a new French startup that recently raised $10 million on the basis of equity and debt rose early on working in laboratory-grown meat from animal cells. In particular, the company is focusing on poultry and chefs need to understand that the company’s products should be used in their restaurants. “We’ve been raising animals for 20,000 years,” co-founder and CEO Nicholas Marin-Forrest told me. “We grow cells that are much more efficient because you only produce what you eat.”
Two co-founders, Victor Sys and Antoine Davidoff have a background in molecular and cell biology. When they teamed up to create a startup, they started looking at intensive livestock farming. “When you dip your toes into it, you realize that it’s not just about animal welfare – it’s about the planet, it’s about humans,” says Morin-Forrest. Gourmet is a part of startups that want to create meat alternatives and turn them into mass-market products.
Early first-generation who wanted to replace the meat-based meat bet with plenty of plant-based alternatives. Meatless and Livesindly Collective are a few well-known examples. Recently, new generation startups have been focusing on cell-based meats such as Brick Just, Mosaic Meat, and Meat Eaters. Gourme is the first French startup to work on lab-grown meat.
Like other lab-grown meat starters, Gurmi relies on stem cells. Combined with the right nutrients at the right temperature, these cells mature in the bioreactor. Gourmet is starting with a premium product and a premium delivery strategy. The startups are working on cultivated foie gras or – as they say – slaughter-free foie gras. Reproducing the taste of foie gras is also a complex task, which means Gurme is setting high expectations.
In some countries, there is such a stigma attached to foie gras that it has been removed from supermarket shelves. As a result, some people may be tempted by lab-applied foie gras. Gurme hopes that chefs in particular will try his first product and use it in their high-end restaurants. Gurmi is hopeful that he will sell his products at even lower prices at the same price as regular foie gras. The idea is to launch more mass-market products on a startup scale. It has once optimized its production lines and you can expect to see other chicken and duck products once there is sufficient demand for Gurmi products.