Upside Foods building first cultivated meat commercial factory

Facility will start with ground cultivated chicken products, plans to expand to other species.

Krissa Welshans, Livestock Editor

September 15, 2023

1 Min Read
Upside Foods

Upside Foods has announced it is building its first commercial factory for cultivated meat, called Rubicon, in Chicago, Illinois. The “monumental move” not only signifies a significant step towards achieving Upside’s vision but also promises to revolutionize food production, the company said.

Situated in Glenview, Illinois, the 187,000-square-foot facility will start by producing ground cultivated chicken products, with plans to expand to other species and formats in the future. The facility will have an initial capacity of millions of pounds of cultivated meat products. It will be equipped to accommodate cultivators with capacities of up to 100,000 liters, stands as a pinnacle of excellence in commercial cultivated meat production. Leveraging insights gleaned from our Engineering, Production, and Innovation Center (EPIC) in California, the new factory is poised to become a beacon of knowledge in large-scale cultivated meat production.

Dr. Uma Valeti, CEO and founder, expressed excitement over the pivotal role Illinois plays in Upside’s journey. Our decision to establish our first commercial-scale factory in the region was driven by factors like a rich heritage in meat production, a commitment to innovation and sustainability, and strategic geographical advantages.

The company said its acquisition of Wisconsin-based cultivated seafood company Cultured Decadence in 2021 was the beginning of the company’s dedication to the Midwest. The commitment is underpinned by an investment exceeding $140 million in the region and the creation of over 75 new jobs spanning various domains like warehousing, logistics, bioprocessing, food production, and more.

“From completing the first U.S. consumer sale of cultivated meat to securing a $400M Series C funding and expanding our portfolio to encompass ground-cultivated meat products, Upside continues to soar to new heights in its mission to reshape the culinary landscape,” the company said.

About the Author(s)

Krissa Welshans

Livestock Editor

Krissa Welshans grew up on a crop farm and cow-calf operation in Marlette, Michigan. Welshans earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University and master’s degree in public policy from New England College. She and her husband Brock run a show cattle operation in Henrietta, Texas, where they reside with their son, Wynn.

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