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Shiok Meats: Changing the Way we Eat

Published 10 Jun 2022
Reference 6706
Region Asia
Summary

Do we have to completely change the way we eat to save the planet? If so, can business lead the way? Case protagonist Sandhya Sriram, a Singapore entrepreneur, is attempting to do just that. With a cofounder, she launches a start-up to ‘grow’ shrimp meat by replicating cells in a lab setting as an alternative to aquaculture settings that pollute the ocean. The case takes students through the challenges and risks of launching a start-up with an ambitious goal – to re-invent food production. In 2021, an opportunity arises to acquire another Singapore start-up – this one working on lab-grown beef. Sriram must decide whether to double down on her investment in cell-cultured meat. Is lab-grown meat a sustainable alternative to aquaculture settings and factory farms? Can the venture be scaled up enough to make a profitable business? Students can be asked to step into the founders’ shoes and also to analyze the case from the perspective of a socially responsible investor.

Teaching objectives

1.To explore the sustainability issues facing the food sector and cell-based meat as a potential solution. 2.To examine various challenges to be overcome in making cell-based meat a viable solution – the economics, scaling up, consumer preferences. 3.To consider how (if at all) business can innovate to resolve real world problems of sustainability – notably in a competitive start-up climate. 4.To ask whether companies can do good and be profitable. 5.To evaluate the role of private investment in driving societal change.

Keywords
  • Sustainability
  • Biotech
  • Socially Responsible Investment
  • Startups
  • Lab-grown Meat
  • Cell-based Meat
  • Alternative Proteins
  • Climate Change
  • Singapore
  • Radical Corporate Sustainability
  • Sustainable Consumption
  • Societal Change
  • Q22022