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Upside Foods puts plans for new US factory on hold

Upside Foods puts plans for new US factory on hold meat, meat alternatives Food and Beverage Business

In the food and beverage industry trends, cultivated-chicken producer Upside Foods has decided to pause the development of a commercial factory in Glenview, Illinois, and expand operations at its Engineering, Production and Innovation Centre (EPIC) in California.

The company was initially planning to build the new 187,000 square-foot plant, called Rubicon, which was to be its 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.” According to the recent statement, expansion at the EPIC factory will still allow Upside to reach “a similar capacity and timeline of the initial phase of Rubicon,” which also would be “more efficient and cost-effective.”

At the EPIC site, the company has already completed “dozens of runs at the 2000 litre scale, tech transferred multiple processes into the facility, and produced enough cells to make thousands of pounds” of cultivated-chicken in the space of a “few months”. Commenting on the decision to pause the development of Rubicon, a spokesperson for Upside Foods said: “This approach will allow us to scale and commercialize our next generation platform and products, currently under regulatory review, while extending our runway and resources for the critical work ahead. We still plan to move forward with building out our full-scale commercial facility in the future.”

The company also recently announced the termination of its contract with the fine dining restaurant Bar Crenn in San Francisco and plans to continue to work with Chef Dominique Crenn at events in the US.

Upside Foods, alongside peer Good Meat, gained approval for its cultivated-chicken to be sold in America from the US Department of Agriculture in June 2023.

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