BioCraft Pet Nutrition, founded in 2016, is the first and only biotech company developing cultured meat for the growing pet food market. Founder and CEO Shannon Falconer, MSc, PhD, left her post-doctoral research fellowship at Stanford University and turned down a prestigious academic scholarship to apply her scientific prowess to create meat-based, nutrient-dense pet food that doesn’t come at the expense of harming the environment or other animals.
In 2021, BioCraft introduced the first cultured meat product for the pet trade—cat treats made from mouse cells—a milestone for the company and the entire industry. BioCraft (formerly Because Animals) was the first to create a proprietary growth medium as an alternative to fetal bovine serum (FBS), helping reduce production costs by well over an order of magnitude and representing a key step towards commercial scale. BioCraft has developed the only truly environmentally sustainable and humane meat ingredient for pet food. It’s not a meat alternative; its meat produced in an alternative way that does not rely on conventional animal agriculture practices.
Today, the BioCraft team has grown to include a roster of PhD scientists, a veterinarian, and serial entrepreneurs, all focused on taking animals out of the supply chain by producing the healthiest, most environmentally sustainable and supply-chain stable meat for dogs and cats.
BioCraft is now focused on building partnerships with pet food manufacturers looking to incorporate cultured meat — which offers sustainability, animal welfare, quality and safety benefits — into their portfolios. According to BioCraft, cultured meat provides for a more uniform raw protein material that is less likely to be contaminated by common pathogens seen among traditional, animal-based proteins.
The company uses proprietary cell lines to grow meat — without the use of fetal bovine serum — in a controlled and pathogen-free environment. Cells are grown in a liquid medium of vitamins and minerals, according to the company. The finished product is similar to a traditional “meat slurry” in consistency, which is familiar to pet food processors and can be used in a one-to-one replacement for animal-based meat in a variety of formulas, including dry kibble, wet food, treats and even fresh pet food formulas.
According to BioCraft, the company’s cultured meat products are not genetically modified and are free from GMOs, chemical and bacterial contaminants, antibiotics, pentobarbital, steroids or other hormones. The nutritional profile of BioCraft’s cultured meat ingredients stack up against animal-based meat, meeting all protein, key vitamin, fat and amino acid requirements, including taurine.
BioCraft is located in both North America and Europe, with R&D performed via its subsidiary company, BioCraft Pet Nutrition GmbH in Austria. BioCraft investors include Draper Associates, SOSV, KEEN Growth Capital, Orkla Food Ingredients, Sentient Investment, Hack Capital and angel investors. BioCraft Pet Nutrition GmbH is a recipient of grant funding from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG).
Investors of BioCraft include Draper Associates, SOSV, KEEN Growth Capital, Orkla Food Ingredients, Sentient Investments, Hack Capital and angel investors. BioCraft Pet Nutrition GmbH is a recipient of grant funding from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG).