Did you know that in the UK, pets consume 22% of the meat? According to Meatly, a cultivated meat company, rising pet meat consumption is further contributing to greenhouse emissions. 

Recently, Meatly announced a partnership with sustainable pet food company Omni to provide a sustainable and ethical alternative to traditional meat-based pet foods. 

Launching the world’s first cultivated canned pet food, Omni co-founders Shiv Sivakumar and Dr Guy Sandelowsky said, “Omni is very proud to be innovating in the novel protein space, but we can’t do it all alone. Customers like to have choice, so we would love to see more brands in this space, challenging the legacy processed meat brands and reshaping the industry so that it’s both healthier and more sustainable.”

Pet food, which is usually made from highly processed animal products from the heavily CO2 polluting meat industry, will be countered by Omni’s cruelty-free and environmentally friendly alternative. 

Innovation in the Pet Food Market 

The collaboration between Meatly and Omni – a part of Cohort 8 of Leap Venture Studios- has resulted in the creation of canned wet food for cats. Founded in 2021, Omni also uses plant-based and novel protein sources such as pulses, plants, yeasts, and algae.

The Omni co-founders explained that dogs are nutritional omnivores and that they thrive on non-meat diets, but cats are considered obligate carnivores. “This means they seem to require certain nutrients that are only found in animal tissue,” said Sivakumar and Sandelowshy. “Lab grown meat is the ideal solution to providing these in a more health focused and sustainable fashion.”

Omni has seen significant growth, achieving more than £2 million in sales and expanding its product portfolio to include nutritionally complete kibble, wet-food cans, and supplements. 

Cultivated meat also has a role to play in encouraging the adoption of novel proteins, more generally for pet guardians. As the meat still looks and tastes like traditional meat, the barrier to trying it is lower compared to other proteins that may not have the same physical traits. 

Motivation Behind Cultivated Meat Products For Pets

Sandelwosky’s own black Labrador, Bondie, got mouth cancer at just 4 years of age. That is when he started to wonder why dogs are fed processed meat three times a day, when we know this is a carcinogenic ingredient for humans.

“It was also the time I read the Paw report, which showed 50% of UK dogs were suffering due to obesity, and that skin and gut issues related to diet were soaring,” said Sandelwosky. “Taken together, I realised there was an opportunity to create cleaner, healthier pet food – that used novel proteins and didn’t rely on highly processed animal byproducts and lard.”