Boulder, CO-based vegan startup Meati Foods plans to make its whole-cut vegan steaks available directly to consumers in 2021. Co-founded by engineers Justin Whiteley and Tyler Huggins in 2019, the company recently closed a $28.2 million Series A investment round to help it scale production and expand its team to facilitate a direct-to-consumer launch of its innovative, fungi-based vegan meats.
While many companies such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods focus on producing ground vegan meat, Meati is creating whole cuts of steak and chicken using a technology that relies on mycelium—the fast-growing root structure of mushrooms. The company brews mycelium inside fermentation tanks then blends the high-protein fibers—which resemble those found inside chicken breasts and steaks—with other vegetable-based ingredients and spices before forming them into vegan meat. “People are looking for something new and exciting, and I think we’re going to see a whole new category of fungi-based products, which is awesome,” Huggins told Foodnavigator-USA.
In May, the Meati Foods secretly launched its vegan steaks at SALT Bistro in Boulder—where it was served as part of the Bahn Meati Sandwich—to gather consumer intel on its whole cuts of fungi-based steak.