How 3D Printed Shrimp Could Benefit Stakeholders at Steakholder Foods


Steakholder Foods (Nasdaq: STKH), previously known for its work in developing 3D printed steak and eel, is making strides in its pursuit of surf and turf, concentrating on shrimp. The company has announced success in recreating the texture and flavor of shrimp using its proprietary DropJet 3D printer and shrimp cells. In the looking forward, Steakholder Foods contemplates two separate commercial products: a fully plant-based shrimp alternative and a hybrid combining plant ingredients with cultivated shrimp ink.
“We anticipate that by introducing a second new species of plant-based, 3D-printed seafood this month, Steakholder Foods will be positioned to sell and ship the first DropJet printer in 2024. This will provide partners and customers a unique chance to profit from the expanding global seafood market, while also positively impacting the environment,” stated Steakholder Foods CEO Arik Kaufman.
In the past, Steakholder Foods was awarded a grant by the Singapore Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (SIIRD) and collaborated with the startup Umami Meats for its grouper and eel products. Nonetheless, it is still uncertain if the new shrimp product emerged from the Umami Meats partnership. Similar to Steakholder’s earlier inventions, this product also employs drop-based technology, using the DropJet machine. The company envisions further commercializing this technology to reach larger 3D printing volumes.

Currently, cells are picked and cultivated in growth vats until they can be transformed into ink. This ink is then utilized for large-scale 3D printing. The potential market size is considerable, the company notes that nearly 7.6 million tons of shrimp are harvested annually. The retail shrimp price, which ranges from $20 to $40 per kilo, is affected by the manual labor required for shell and vein removal. This gives Steakholder Foods an extensive profit margin to introduce an alternative shrimp product.

The company has not disclosed the price point for its 3D printed shrimp. Furthermore, Steakholder has not revealed its sales strategy including whether intends to sell directly to consumers, restaurants, distributors, or through supermarkets. As a result, the economic aspects of this venture remain largely speculative. In addition, Steakholder Foods has not provided specific comments on the taste of the shrimp, other than saying its goal is to mimic the flavor of real shrimp.

Up until now, Steakholder Foods has concentrated on providing ready-to-cook meals for the final consumption of the customer. As has been previously stated, if these were ready-to-eat meals, it could potentially save consumers additional time and effort. The actual production levels of Steakholder remains a mystery at this time. After a loss of $35 million in 2021, the company reported a decrease of $10 million as of June 30, 2023. In order to truly break out, Steakholder will need to escalate production and cut production costs.

Steakholder Foods, like other companies specializing in 3D printed food, bases its main proposition on the use of bioprinting techniques to produce palatable and realistic food on a large scale. Assuming that Steakholder Foods has successfully replicated the flavor and texture of its products, there are still steep hills to climb. The process of growing media represents a significant investment in terms of energy, nutrients, and costs. Whether Steakholder Foods is capable of creating a more effective and efficient bioreactor remains a question, in addition to whether or not it is currently trying to develop such technology. The existing players in the bioreactor market could greatly disrupt the market by developing more sustainable and efficient systems.

Furthermore, there is still unclear whether Steakholder Foods has the capacity to scale production up. While the company uses a drop-on-demand model, which holds potential for effective scaling, the precise volume and accuracy of their current output is still unknown.

Steakholder Foods is currently considering additional share releases and sales in order to generate more capital. The company also needs to increase its share price above $1 to keep its NASDAQ listing. Since the stock price is currently at $0.52, delisting could result in the loss of the financial opportunities that come with being listed on NASDAQ. in 2022, Steakholder Foods invested $9.8 million in R&D and $3 million in marketing. Additionally, Steakholder Foods bought Peace of Meat, a Belgian fat company, for $20 million and subsequently liquidated it.

I’d be interested to see Steakholder’s latests finances, especially given that a shareholder is currently selling shares. Despite this, the firm has yet to make substantial revenue, according to an audit report in December 2022 which stated this “raises significant doubt about the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern.” The future may be uncertain for Steakholder Foods, as they’re having difficulty securing new stakeholders and keeping the confidence of the ones they already have.

If Steakholder Foods is able to overcome its current problems, it could potentially reach a multibillion-dollar market. By increasing their efficiency in ethical food production, they may infiltrate various multibillion-dollar food markets. Personally, I’m eager to observe their progress from rendering to plate.

Original source


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