Lab-grown meat business Upside Foods to cut jobs

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Upside Foods, the US cultivated-chicken business, is cutting an unspecified number of jobs.

The California company would not be drawn on the exact number of jobs lost, although US media reports put the count at 26. They also suggested the management team would be downsized.

A statement provided by an Upside Foods’ spokesperson read: “Upside is focused on our next chapter of scale and commercialisation. To stay agile in the face of an uncertain macroenvironment, we made adjustments to certain programmes and reduced some positions.

“We’re deeply grateful for the hard work and commitment of our departing team members and remain focused on bringing cultivated meat at scale to the world.”

Upside Foods and cultivated-meat peer Good Meat are the only US companies to so far gain regulatory approval for their products by the US Department of Agriculture, granted in June 2023.

However, in February this year, Upside Foods confirmed it was ending a foodservice contract with the Bar Crenn restaurant in San Francisco, California.

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The company had been serving its cell-based chicken at the fine-dining venue since July 2023 via “monthly dinner services”.

It had been working with the French chef, Dominique Crenn, who manages the restaurant, to develop dishes using the product.

Asked for confirmation of when the company is likely to win regulatory approval for full commercialisation at the retail level, an Upside Foods’ spokesperson said “we’re currently going through the process”.

In February, Upside Foods announced it was putting a plan for a new factory in the US on hold.

A commercial 87,000 square-foot facility in Illinois was to be the company’s first “large scale” factory, with the capacity to produce “millions of pounds of cultivated-meat products per year and the potential to expand to over 30m pounds”.


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