XPRIZE Feeding the Next Billion is a four-year active competition with an additional 18 months of post-prize scaling impact work that will incentivize teams to produce structured chicken breast or fish fillet alternatives that replicate or outperform conventional chicken and fish in: cost and access, environmental sustainability, animal welfare, nutrition and health, as well as taste and texture.
By “alternatives,” we mean the product must use an alternative that does not result in harm to animals during its production.
These alternatives will provide a more environmentally sustainable path to meeting emerging markets’ demand for high-protein products, human health, and animal welfare.
While there is some activity currently to create ground meat alternatives such as burgers, chicken nuggets, and ground fish, more work is needed to produce structured, nutritious, affordable, and versatile alternative chicken and fish products that are capable of competing with conventional products on the market.
Why Feeding the Next Billion
By 2050, Earth’s population is projected to grow to 9.7 billion. In tandem with population growth, global wealth is increasing and producing a more robust middle-class. Demand for high-protein diets is increasing as nations move into wealth and the global middle-class expands. Consequently, global meat consumption is expected to increase by 76 percent. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, poultry production increased 28 percent between the mid-1960s and today. Additionally, fish represents 17 percent of global animal protein consumption, and 26 percent in poor or developing countries.
Our analysis of current conventional meat production trends and practices, especially of the chicken and seafood industries, revealed three core problems that are likely to intensify as the world strives to meet this growing demand: continued environmental degradation, food safety & malnutrition, and inhumane treatment of animals & biodiversity loss.
If current conventional meat production and consumption trends continue, the resources required to meet this global demand will accelerate deforestation and biodiversity loss, strain global water supply, accelerate climate change, intensify inhumane treatment of animals, and aggravate food safety and malnutrition issues.
The Preferred Future State
XPRIZE asserts that innovations in the poultry and seafood industries will succeed in disrupting the destructive global meat production and consumption status-quo and lead to a future in which the Earth is preserved while the food demand of ten billion humans are met.
XPRIZE Feeding the Next Billion can unlock a preferred future in which:
The Winning Team Will
Create 25, raw, 115 gram (g) or four ounce (oz) structured chicken breast or fish fillet analogs that replicate the organoleptic properties, versatility, and nutritional profile of conventional chicken or fish.
A bonus prize will be awarded to the Finalist Team that develops their analog using an animal-origin free growth medium at the lowest production cost, with a maximum threshold of $10 per liter.
To ensure teams’ success throughout the competition, XPRIZE will carry out several scaling impact activities to support teams. After the competition is won, the top 10 finalists will continue to benefit from XPRIZE’s 18 months of scaling impact activities.
Expected Outcomes of the Competition
As a result of the four-year active competition, one Grand Prize winner will have created an alternative to conventional chicken breast or fish fillet. During the additional 18 months of post-prize Scaling Impact Phase, teams will work to transition their products to market at scale and achieve widespread consumer adoption.
Throughout the competition, XPRIZE will work in tandem with regulatory entities such as the United States Food & Drug Administration and United States Department of Agriculture to support the development of a regulatory framework that guides innovators in the alternative meat sector.
Additionally, XPRIZE will support best practices that facilitate the type of data collection needed to conduct more accurate Life Cycle Assessments of new alternative meat products developed during the active competition. XPRIZE will support open access to this data to raise consumer awareness about the environmental impact of meat alternatives.