Clean Meat Supply Chain Faces a Unique Set of Risks. These Two Things Must Be Considered.

The Clean Meat industry is on the verge of commercialization as products are expected to hit the market in the coming few years. In fact,  Just-company is promising to bring it’s products out already during 2018. While the Clean Meat companies are preparing their products internally, external companies in the supply chain are facing increased risk environment when operating in this new and special industry. What makes the situation very special is that we are talking about a completely new type of material that is not available today. Something very similar is happening in edible insects or IFF (Insects for Food and Feed) field where also new technology is producing a new type of raw material.

Supply chains can be visualized as a stream of supply where the goods are flowing down the river starting from the raw material producers to end product manufacturing and finally to end customers through wholesalers and supermarkets. When looking upstream towards Clean Meat producers a high level of supply risk can be identified. Supply risk, the risk that products are not been delivered, is higher than many other industries because of two reasons: Lack of horizontal integration and limited knowledge.

Lack of horizontal integration means that there is a very limited number of companies able to produce e.g. clean cow meat. There are numerous places to get slaughtered meat if your first option fails to deliver, but what will you do when your primary Clean Meat producer faces delivery issues? A serious production issue will leave downstream without promised products and no chance of buying replacing products as there simply isn’t anyone else to buy from. What makes the supply risk exposure even higher is the limited knowledge of the clean meat production the producer has. No one in the world has ever produced clean meat in industrial scale. It is very likely that during the first years of industrial-scale production unexpected operational risks will occur that will lead to some level of delivery issues simply because of the lack of experience.

What is different between the IFF and Clean Meat industries is that unlike the IFF side, it seems that most of the Clean Meat companies are not only producing the raw material but also making the end product. In supply chain terms the level of vertical integration is different. This way the supply risk is carried internally and in case of production difficulties the consequences are seen first internally, not at the end product producers’ factory. The risk of failed deliveries to supermarkets still exists, but in this case, a supermarket could fill their shelves with something similar like clean pork. This is not ideal but acceptable. Instead, an end product producer cannot do the same and for this reason, unlike supermarkets or wholesalers, they cannot accept as high supply risks.

Another way to reduce the risk exposure in the supply chain together with shifting the degree of vertical integration is increased horizontal integration. Eventually, the supply will increase when competing companies appear, but the increase of horizontal integration can happen also internally within a company by dividing production capacity to multiple locations and production units. When the whole production capacity of a company is not relying on a limited number of machines and operators an occurrence of an operational risk (that are likely due to the limited knowledge) does not jeopardize to complete production capacity of the company.

The Clean Meat industry is still working on bringing the production cost down, but the IFF companies are already in the markets and facing the supply chain challenges today. There are no simple and easy answers, but when the time comes for wide market entry for the Clean Meat companies could look at the fellow alt-protein industries for key learnings.


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To look deeper into the risk profile of emerging industries’ supply chain check out my thesis Supply Chain Risk Management in Entomology Farms. The thesis is available also in all major audiobook platforms like Audible.  You may also see my presentation on the topic here.


The Two Compromises Limiting Alt-Protein Product Development

Future proteins, meat alternatives, sustainable proteins. The category of new products entering the market to replace the traditional and unsustainable meat in our diets has many names. Latest big article on the topic calling it the alt-protein sector was released in The Guardian on 30th of April 2018. You can read the article here.

In the article, some of the main players in the industry are interviewed. The main message given by the companies is clear: The most important thing in attracting large audiences and saving the planet is the taste.

“I don’t think mayonnaise, even ours, is healthy at all,” “I’d much rather people have a box of carrots if they are concerned about health, without question.” Josh Tetrick of Just.

“From our perspective, health is not the point,” said Bruce Friedrich of Good Food Institute.

The widely accepted approach shared by the interviewees seems to be that two clear compromises must be accepted in order to introduce these better options for meat eaters.

Compromise no 1: Healthiness

These modern food companies like the interviewed Just and Impossible Foods have a clean slate to do almost anything imaginable in the field of food technology but they have selected a path where healthiness is not the main factor. Is this really the best way? These companies might answer no, but at the same time, it is a must in order to attract large masses. Obviously, everyone would like to do very healthy products, but it has been accepted that as long as the taste is good, health- questions can be put aside.

Compromise no 2: Variety

When looking at companies like Just, Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, there is another question that they have accepted as fact: For wide customer base acceptance, their products must resemble known animal-based products they are aiming to replace. The products are aiming to resemble animal-based products not only by taste but also by how they look, feel and smell.

The thinking behind these compromises suggests that it is easier to market people familiar, but inferior product instead of an unfamiliar superior one. It is important to notice here that we are not talking here about production costs as the motivation for these compromises, but marketing.

These two compromises might be well justified, but they are very limiting from product development’s perspective. The management of these companies are telling their R&D- departments: Let’s do a sustainable product that tastes good but it must look, feel and taste like this other thing. When working from the point of view where you are copying something, not making the best possible product, you are incentified to sacrifice not only health but also the optimal environmental impact.

What if the management’s message to R&D would be the following: Let’s do a product that is sustainable, tastes good and is healthy? What kind of amazing products could these companies create if they would work without these listed compromises?

The clean meat industry is a different story. Clean meat- companies are not copying animal-based products, they are making the original thing but in a more sustainable way. Producing muscle-cells in bioreactor instead of rearing an animal brings an impressive list of improvements in comparison to the traditional method of producing animal flesh: No manure-derived issues, no use of antibiotics, the end product is free of animal-based pathogens to name a few. Even though the clean meat is a new process for a traditional product, the new process allows improvements that are not possible traditionally. For example, the amount of fat and the type of fat in the product can be changed as desired.

The justification for the need of clean meat products comes from the well-founded assumption that people must have a meat option and to provide that to them the bioreactor way is a clearly better way than rearing the full animal.

Clean meat- companies and the “plant-based meat imitators” are in the same line in the way that both want to introduce meat alternative to meat eaters. It is absolutely clear that there is a huge demand for this. In clean meat’s case, we don’t need to think of the issue of the product being familiar or not because the end product is the very same meat we eat today.  In the plant-based product’s case, this conclusion that product quality should be sacrificed for marketing purposes should be seriously questioned. If the imitator- companies follow the chosen path they are bound to find it to be a dead end. Eventually, the clean meat technology matures and the products hit the market shelves with comparable prices to the imitators. At this stage, the plant-based meat imitators have nothing on clean meat when marketing to meat eater audience. On the other hand, if meat imitators reach “good enough” stage with a fraction of the cost compared the clean meat, clean meat will become only a marginal high-end product.

For more detailed comparison of clean meat, plant-based meat imitators and plant-based meat replacements read my earlier blog post here:





Nämä kahdeksan hyönteislajia ovat pian tulossa ruokapöytääsi


Parhaiksi ruokahyönteisiksi on tarjolla yli 2000 ruoaksi soveltuvaa lajia. Lajit, jotka tulevaisuudessa levittyvät länsimaalaisille markkinoille, määrittyvät muutaman kasvatusteknisen kysymyksen perusteella.

Oli kyseessä sitten hyönteiset tai perinteisemmät ruoat, valintakriteereihin kuuluvat maku, suutuntuma, ulkonäkö ja hinta. Lisäksi huomioidaan mielikuvat ja kulttuurisidonnaiset kysymykset. Esimerkiksi Intiassa lehmää on lautasella harvoin, länsimaissa sama koskee hyönteisiä.

Yksi hinnaltaan halvimpia hyönteisiä kasvattaa ja syödä laajamittaisesti olisi mustasotilaskärpänen. Mutta sen minkä tämä mätänevää biomassaa syövä kärpäsen toukka voittaa hinnassa, häviää se moninkertaisesti muissa kategoriossa.

Ensimmäinen määrittävistä kysymyksistä on hyönteisen ruokavalio. Lajin tulee olla kasvissyöjä. Jos laji syö ruoakseen toisia hyönteisiä, tuotantoprosessi moninmutkaistuu ja kallistuu tarpeettomasti: Kaksi lajia pitää kasvattaa, mutta vain toinen voidaan myydä. Hyönteisruokateollisuutta kehittyneempi hyönteisala on tuholaistorjunta, joka keskittyy erityisesti hyönteisiä syöviin hyönteisiin. Ala on ainakin toistaiseksi yrittänyt turhaan ruokkia näitä lajeja menestyksekkäästi sijaisravinnoilla.

Mitä merkitystä on sitten hyönteisen fyysisillä ominaisuuksilla? Keskeistä on, minkä kokoinen yksilö on ja miten nopeasti se lisääntyy. Ensinnäkin ihmisravinnoksi sopivan hyönteisen tulee olla sen verran kookas, että niiden käsittely ja hallinta on helppoa. Isosta koosta ei ole toki hyötyä, jos lisääntyminen on hidasta. Hyönteistaloudessa, niin kuin kaikessa ruokateollisuudessa, kun on kyse lopputuotekilojen kerryttämisestä.

Kasvatuksen helppous on itsestään selvä vaatimus, mutta mikä tekee kasvattamisestä helppoa? Hyönteislajista tehdyt tieteelliset tutkimukset auttavat vastaamaan tähän kysymykseen. Hyönteisen yleisyys muiden kasvattajien farmeilla on myös tärkeää, sillä munia tulee vaihtaa geenipoolin vahvistamiseksi ja useat yhteistyökumppanit vähentävät myös tuotantoketjun riskejä. Lisäksi monipuolinen ja yksinkertainen ruokavalio helpottavat kustannuksien kanssa.

Laajamittaisesta kasvattamisessa hyönteiset kasvatetaan mahdollisimman suurissa yhteisöissä. Tämä saattaa altistaa hyönteiset stressille, joka voi johtaa altistumiseen taudeille ja kannibalismiin. Vain lajit jotka luontaisesti elävät isoissa yhteisöissä tulevat soveltumaan laajamittaiseen kasvattamiseen.

Toisin kuin voisi kuvitella, hyönteisten kyvyllä muuttaa ruokaa kehon massaksi eli rehun hyötysuhteella ei ole kovin suurta merkitystä. Toki hyönteislajien välillä on eroja asian suhteen, mutta rehun hinnan vaikutus kokonaisuuteen on selvästi pienempi kuin tässä kirjoituksessa esittelyt vaatimukset.

Seuraavat kahdeksan lajia täyttävät listatut vaatimukset, ja joiden teollinen kasvatus on aloitettu:

Eläinten oikeudet koskevat myös hyönteisiä: Nämä asiat on otettava huomioon

Ihmiset ovat tekopyhiä eläinoikeuskysymyksen edessä. Kotieläimiä rakastetaan ja niiden hyvinvointiin laitetaan paljon aikaa ja rahaa koska ne ovat söpöjä ja ne pystyvät osoittamaan kiintymystä. Villit rotat ja käärmeet eivät saa meiltä samanlaista kohtelua, saati sitten torakat, hämähäkit tai jauhomadot.

Tämä lähtökohta tulee ymmärtää kun pohdimme laajamittaista hyönteisten kasvatusta. Tulevaisuuden hyönteisfarmit eivät välttämättä tarjoa enää eettistä ympäristöä hyönteisille, mutta onko siitä meille mitään merkitystä?

Keskustelu hyönteiskasvatuksen eettisyydestä on alkanut myös Suomessa ja keskustelu pyörii paljon hyönteisten kognitiivisten kykyjen ympärillä; kuinka paljon ne ymmärtävät ympäristöstään ja kuinka paljon ne tuntevat kipua.

Tutkimukset aiheesta eivät pysty antamaan suoraa vastausta: Toisaalla on osoitettu että toukat pyrkivät pakoon kuumaa sädettä, toisaalla on nähty kuinka hyönteinen jatkaa ruokailua vaikka sitä itseään syötäisiin.

Oli vastaus kipukysymykseen mikä tahansa, on muistettava että vapaus kivusta on vain yksi niistä viidestä vapaudesta, joihin myös Suomen eläinsuojelulainsäädäntö perustuu. Myös esimerkiksi vapaus normaaliin käyttäytymiseen sekä vapaus nälästä ja janosta ovat asioita jotka tulee ehdottomasti myös hyönteisille tarjota.

Eläinten hyvinvointi hyönteiskasvattamoissa

Laajamittainen hyönteisten kasvattaminen on uusi teollisuuden ala, joka tulee kasvamaan huomattavasti tulevina vuosina.

Suomessa kasvua juuri nyt kiihdyttää Eviran marraskuinen (2017) päätös avata markkinat hyönteisperäisiä raaka-aineita sisältäville tuotteille. Hyönteisiä kasvatetaan laajamittaisesti ruoaksi, mutta myös eläinrehuksi erityisesti kalankasvattamoille.

Maailmalla tunnetaan yli 2000 ruoaksi kelpaavaa hyönteislajia, mutta hyönteisteollisuus on keskittynyt vahvasti vain muutamaan lajiin jotka ovat: Jauhomato (Tenebrio molitor) mustasotilaskärpänen (Hermetia illucens) ja kotisirkka (Acheta domesticus).

Hyönteisiä markkinoidaan ympäristöystävällisenä proteiininlähteenä ja vaihtoehtona perinteisille lihatuotteille. On selvää että lehmään, possuun tai broileriin verrattuna hyönteiset kuluttavat huomattavasti vähemmän tilaa, rehua ja vettä, mutta asia johon ei ole selkeää vastausta on hyönteiskasvatuksen eettisyys.

Eläinten hyvinvointia lähestytään kysymällä toteutuvatko seuraavat viisi asiaa:

  • Vapaus nälästä ja janosta

  • Vapaus epämukavuudesta

  • Vapaus kivusta, vammoista ja sairauksista

  • Vapaus normaaliin käyttäytymiseen

  • Vapaus pelosta ja kärsimyksestä

Peruslähtökohta sille, miksi perinteisillä eläinfarmeilla nämä vapaudet eivät toteudu on, että on halvempaa jättää ne toteuttamatta. Luonnottomat ja stressaavat ympäristöt vaikuttavat tuotantotehokkuuteen jossain määrin, mutta käytäntö on näyttänyt, että on edullisempaa jättää nämä asiat huomiotta.

Hyönteisfarmeilla on tilanne on erilainen. Vielä kun hyönteiskasvatus teknologiat ja alan tietotaito ovat alkutekijöissään, on taloudellisesti kannattavaa tarjota hyönteisille kaikki viisi vapautta.

Mitä enemmän luonnollista ympäristöä kasvattamo muistuttaa, sitä terveempinä hyönteiset pysyvät, sitä enemmän ne tuottavat munia ja kasvavat nopeammin. Toisin kuin lehmiä ja muita yleisesti kasvattettua eläimiä, hyönteisiä ei voi rokottaa ja lääkkeitäkin on todella vähän tarjolla. Tämä johtuu siitä että tarvetta hyönteislääkkeille ei ole aikaisemmin laajamittaisesti ollut. Hyönteistautien tutkijoita löytyy maailmasta kourallinen, hyönteislääkäreitä sitäkin vähemmän.

Vaikka yleisesti ottaen hyönteisfarmit tarjoavat eettisen ympäristön, muutama poikkeus löytyy.

Jauhomatoja voidaan estää siirtymästä seuraavaan metamorfoosin vaiheeseen hormooneja käyttämällä joka johtaa eläimen kasvamisen matovaiheessa luonnottoman isoksi. Tätä käytäntöä on käytetty kun jauhomatoja kasvatetaan lemmikkieläimille, mutta ainakaan vielä ei ole tiedossa että vastaavaa käytettäisiin ihmisruoan tai eläinrehun tuottamiseen.

Toinen poikkeus on aikuisvaiheen hyönteispopulaation sukupuolijakauman monipulointi. Jotta mahdollisimman tehokas munien tuottaminen saavutetaan, voidaan uroksien lukumäärää vähentää, jolloin urokset keskittyvät keskinäisen kanssakäymisen sijaan naaraisiin.

Asia jota lainsäädäntö ei ole huomioinut on tiettyjen hyönteislajien tapa muodostaa yhteisöjä ja joiden yksilöt eivät pysty elämään itsenäisesti. Tälläisiin lajeihin kuuluvat esimerkiksi termiitit, joiden kekoa voidaan kutsua superorganismiksi.

Jos otamme superorganismista osan pois ruoaksi niin, että se jää elämää terveellisesti, tulisiko toimenpide vertautua enemmänkin lampaan kerimiseen kuin lampaan tappamiseen?

Hyönteiset kiertotalouden osana

Hyönteisruoan moraalisen kysymykset voidaan tiivistää seuraavasti: Onko oikein syödä hyönteisiä ja muita eläimiä? Jos ei, niin voidaanko hyönteisten syöminen sallia jos se on ympäristöystävällisempää kuin kasviperäiset tuotteet?

Tarkasti valvotuissa oloissa hyönteisiä voidaan ainakin teoriassa kasvattaa sivu- ja biojätevirroilla.

Biojätteellä kasvatetun hyönteisen hiilijalanjälki on jopa kasviksia pienempi. Kun rehusta ei synny muuta kuin käsittelyyn liittyviä päästöjä, ainoat ympäristöön vaikuttavat toiminnot ovat peruskäyttöhyödykkeet farmilla, pakkaus ja kuljetus.

Kun taas katsomme esimerkiksi soijan kasvatuksen eettisiä kysymyksiä, tulee kasvissyöjän kysyä, tulisiko hänen valita biojätteellä kasvatettu hyönteinen soijan sijaan.

Miten Suomessa opitaan syömään hyönteisiä?

Hyönteisten syönti on useammalle suomalaiselle vieras asia, johon on vaikea suhtautua. Asiaan perehtyneetkään ihmiset eivät tiedä tuntevatko hyönteiset kipua, eivätkä kasvatusteknologiat ole vielä vakiintuneet vielä niin, että näkisimme miten hyönteisiä tullaan kasvattamaan.

Totuttautumisen aiheeseen voi aloittaa ottamalla lasin appelsiinimehua tai pari palaa suklaata: vaikka tuotteiden raaka-aineet käsitellään ennen tuotteiden valmistusta, molemmat sisältävät enemmän tai vähemmän hyönteisten osia ja munia.

Yhdysvaltojen viranomaiset ovat julkaiseet rajat, joiden mukaan 100 grammassa suklaata saa olla maksimissaan 60 hyönteisen jätöstä. Sitrusmehuihin sallitaan myös kokonaisia hyönteisiä ja niiden munia.

Jouluna Suomessa syömme reilusti suklaata ja mandariineja. Pidetään ne hyönteisten munat mielessä, ja annetaan näiden tuotteiden toimia porttina uusien ajatusten sisäänajoon!


Lisätietoa aiheesta voi lukea seuraavista lähteistä:

“A Bug’s Life”- raportti:

Blogi: “Miksi en kannata hyönteisten syöntiä:

Biojätteen rehukäytön ongelmallisuus:

How We Changed the Legal Environment of Our Startups

The 20th of September 2017 big news came out: Evira, the Finnish FDA, changed its interpretation of certain EU-level regulations to allow the sale of insect products for human food and for animal feed in Finland. Before the change, all insect products sold for human consumption were banned and there were serious restrictions on insect feed for farmed animals. This change means the end of the years-long waiting period and the Finnish Insect for Food and Feed (IFF) companies have been able to start selling full speed.

The legal environment is one the risks that every company must consider carefully in their business plan regardless the industry they are operating in. In general, a hostile legal environment is seen as a big minus and something that is difficult to change, especially in short term.

No matter how unlikely and how difficult it was considered to be, the Finnish IFF- startups were able to lobby the authorities to change their viewpoint and open the markets. Similar changes are expected all over the Western world, but Finland changed it’s interpretation now sooner than others.

How exactly the Finnish startups spurred the change and how can you do the same in your home country and your industry?

Positive Relationship with Media

The hype around rearing insects for food and feed started around 2011 when FAO started to promote insects as a sustainable choice over conventional animal protein sources. The media attention reached Finland as well and since has been featured multiple times on all major media platforms. Finnish start-ups started to emerge some years after 2011 and since they have featured the articles and news regularly as well.

The IFF- industry is quite unique in many ways and this is one of the major reasons why media has covered so much of it nationally, but all the startups have been not only accepting invites for public speaking and giving interviews, but also reaching out for reporters. What has been great to notice on many occasions I have been asked to cover for other players in the industry to cover for them for e.g public speaking if there has been a double booking. This tells of shared understanding that raising public’s understanding and awareness is very important, even if the publicity points goes to the neighbor company.  For emerging industries many times the competition is not the companies doing similar things than you, but the companies you coming to steal the market from. This essential idea is widely spread in the small Finnish industry and now we all share the fruits of co-operation.

Make Regulators Work for You

Some years ago I had a discussion with Entocube, one of the Finnish startups. I criticized their approach to bring to market end-user products, even though their main business the insect farming technology had at that point many open questions. Now looking back Entocube’s vision to raise awareness about their company and industry by their clever “kitchen decoration products” (insect food was banned) was very unselfish and brave, but also the right thing to do. By pushing the limits of the regulating bodies and sparking even more discussion with their products in media gave the initiative for Evira to start looking seriously on their approach to the topic.


Above is a picture of the “Cricket Jar”- kitchen decoration jar. Not for consumption! A great way to raise awareness and push the limits. This product forced the regulatory body to react. 

We did not have common plan or organization

What was not done is equally important with what was done. Finnish companies have not formed a registered association, but what we have shared so far is a common goal and modern perception of markets. Also, it is worth noticing that there are no Finnish members in the global association of IFF-companies IPIFF.

To me, this tells that organic communication from different entities was at least in this case the key to build up political pressure that leads to this change. Could it be that when the communication is natural and organic instead of designed and always politically correct it is something that interest media and the big audience more?

Three learning points

Every country is their own case, but I see that there are three points to learn from this case.

  • Raise public’s awareness. This is the first step for people to start accepting the idea of something new and to introduce more wide pressure for the public sector to start thinking of the current policies.
  • Force the regulating bodies to react. Especially in a field that was never been though of carefully by the lawmakers by pushing the boundaries, you force them to draw the lines for the first time. What is most important here is that the decisions must be justified. If there is clear lack of regulation, the wheels will start to move within the public sector.
  • Co-operation of the industry. It is essential that the companies operating in the field do not fall into the trap of thinking that they are each other’s enemies. Even though they are working in the same field, the growth in nascent markets is gained from the growing market, not by winning market share from the competition. When the common goals are understood by the industry players they can work together and achieve bigger targets that they could ever be done alone.

Finnish IFF-industry in 2017:

Imitators, Replacements and Clean Meat

There is no questioning that people are eating too much meat and high meat consumption leads to enormous problems globally. While there is growing interest in sustainable alternatives, it seems that the substitute products widely available in the market today are not attractive enough to quickly bring down meat consumption. Multiple new food industry branches are growing to answer the demand. One of the future branches that have gathered a lot of media attention during the past few years is insects. Even though insects are exciting and clearly better protein source than conventional meat, for me it has become clear that insect does not hold the highest market potential nor are they the best ecological solution when comparing to the other new alternatives. You can read my earlier blogs here and here for my reasoning.

The top three options to replace the modern meat industry are Plant-Based Meat Imitators, Plant-Based Meat Replacements, and Clean Meat. Plant-Based Meat Imitators are products that are 100% plant-based but aim to resemble meat as much as possible. Plant-Based Meat Replacements are products that resemble meat’s nutritional content, in particular, the high-protein level.

These three categories have a lot in common. They all aim to replace conventional meat in human diets with same sales arguments: All are more sustainable, ethical and healthier choices over meat.

To better understand the differences between the categories I made a simple Pugh-matrix. In the matrix, the weight is the multiplier that tells of the importance of that factor. The multiplier can have a value between 1 and 5. The value that each factor gets is selected between -3 and +3. The higher the total number the better. Further, I categorized the factors (the lines) into three parts:

  1. Slow Changing Factors. Marketing is the only line here.
  2. Changing Factors. Regulation and Production Cost.
  3. Unchangeable Factors. Ethics and Nutritional Factors.

The categories are rough and they could be named or categorized in many different ways, but I chose these ones the serve this quick look at the topic. The numbers in this matrix are based on my personal evaluation.

Marketing means how difficult it is to introduce this category to the markets. Conventional meat would get a high score because people are used to it and it has been accepted to be part of a weekly diet. I gave marketing clearly the biggest weight because in the end facts have little to do with our food choices, there are countless examples of this.

Regulation is the law environment that either allows or restricts operating in the markets. Production costs is self-explanatory. These two factors are given small weight because they will not be a deciding factor of the fate of the different industries. The two will either slow it down or help on the way. Also, regulations and especially the production costs can be changed for the better relatively quickly if there is significant market demand. Production cost is the part that is the most difficult to evaluate and the one that keeps on changing the most.

Nutritional facts and Ethics form the “Unchangeable Factors” line. Ethics are a nice plus, but have the least impact of all the factors on the overall score. Nutritional facts are the core of the product on which the marketing is based on. I was thinking hard between giving the nutritional facts 2 or 3, but in ended up to 3 because I wanted to give it more weight than production cost and regulation.

The Matrix



Before analyzing this one, lets jump to the future where there are no regulatory barriers and production costs of clean meat have decreased significantly:


The differences are not very significant, especially in the case where regulatory factors are not considered and clean meat production cost has decreased significantly. It is hard to make a clear conclusion other than that the Plant Based Meat Imitators- category will flourish only until Clean Meat technology advantages enough. Yes, the Imitators will get better imitating as well but it cannot escape its fundamental issue that is visualized in the line Nutritional facts and health. No matter if Imitators would become 99% like the real thing, there are always some trade-offs when aiming for the imitation and this we will see in the raw material choices, amounts of additives, sugars, fats and salt. Also, having (unnecessarily) complex product increases the production costs.


When looking at the remaining top two categories we see that the total score is almost the same, but that the score is coming from different factors. The main question is what is more difficult, introducing new products to people’s regular diet or bringing down the cost of producing clean meat at scale? Answering this will tell you which of the categories holds more potential.

If we should decide what people should eat based on science, we would give them a plant based diet including Plant Based Meat Replacements. But when we are talking about food that has strong cultural connections we must consider the bigger picture. The only reason why Clean Meat and Plant Based Meat Imitators are on the same line is not the product itself, but people’s associations to them.


Nothing is more important than AI

Most of us are familiar with the concept that it is better to fix the cause than the effect. This idea is at the core of the Lean Manufacturing concept, created by Taiichi Ohno and Toyota.  Lean Manufacturing was later developed into the Lean startup- movement inspired by Eric Ries that aims maximize the speed of learning.

Even though we’re aware of this principle, we very often end up doing the opposite. It is natural to just fix the effect, as it is faster and the results are easier to see. Yet in the long run, you lose time and money with this method, because, with the root cause unfixed, the same effect will occur.

The future of technology holds amazing sci-fi -like tools. Nanotechnology, bioengineering, genetics, robotics, space-travel and so on. But the only technology that can help us fight the root cause of poor productivity and resource wasting is the development of Artificial Intelligence, AI. All the listed technological advantages aim to increase the efficiency of human activities, but the difference is that AI is the only one that can help us understand which activities are worth doing in the first place, and how to do them in the most efficient way. For example, while robotics help us do things in high efficiency, maybe that activity was not needed at all in the first place. In other words, while AI can give us the GPS coordinates to our destination and map to follow, robotics can only make us move incredibly fast, and us humans decide on the direction in which we want to move. My example of robotics comes from physical production, but the same idea applies also to product design, marketing, HR and so on.

Our world is not lacking food, physical resources or talent. Yet we are wasting all of these in staggering amounts daily, especially human talent. We need improvement in the use of the world’s resources, and for this AI is the most important technology.

The significance of AI has been recognized widely, and all major technology companies are involved in developing ways to improve the technology and offer multiple ways to implement it into our lives. Even though the benefits of AI management tools are clear, strong incentives exist in the modern global market to fight against the “AI manager”.

AI management tools would steer companies toward long-term, sustainable growth, but the contemporary stock exchange and marketplace encourages to seek short-term profits. Since investors want to see short-term value increase in the companies they invest in, the management they name have incentives to sacrifice long-term plans over short-term ones. This is obviously nothing new, but every time AI takes a step forward, the decision to act against facts will have a higher opportunity cost. Eventually, this cost will be so high that it cannot be ignored, but the sooner we can bring AI into decision-making, the better. And since we are fighting issues like global warming and other ecological disasters, there really is no time to waste.

Fighting against better solutions sounds counter-intuitive, but the world is full of similar examples where existing structures prevent obvious improvements from taking over. Why do they still have separate taps for hot and cold water in the UK? Why do Phillips-head screws still exist when we have Torx screws? Why don’t all cars come with Run Flat tyres? The Run Flat tyres, the PAX system, is especially interesting. The PAX solution offers better safety and flexibility for the customer, the technology was shared with multiple tyre and car manufacturers, and market studies show that the demand is there, but still, we are not using it. The answer lies in co-adaptation and co-innovation risks. When there is some external entity in the supply chain that is not benefiting of the improvement, they will not be active in taking it into use, or, even worse, they might fight against the change. In this case, a co-adaptation risk occurred. Car service companies did not have high enough incentive to invest in PAX- machinery, and cars with these tyres could not find convenient service network. This theory and the PAX system example is presented in Ron Adner’s book The Wide Lens.

Technology is advancing faster day by day. AI management tools will be the most significant of all upcoming advances because they will make all other advancements faster. Improving the technology and creating applications for it is not enough, as there are obstacles to solve before AI is widely taken into use. Finding ways to smooth the path for AI to enter our world is the second most important task we face now, right after AI itself. And these two tasks will be the last ones us humans will have to do on our own.

There is nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency something that should not be done at all.” – Peter Drucker

Further reading:

Lean Startup:

The Wide Lens:

The PAX- system:

Deep Knowledge Ventures, the first company to appoint AI to its board of directors: