Wisconsin startup raises $1.6 million for lab-grown lobster

April 12, 2021 |

In Wisconsin, Cultured Decadence hopes to replace succulent, but pricey, lobster meat with a lab-grown alternative. 

The efforts of cofounders  John Pattison and Ian Johnson come as warming oceans, rising sea levels, and storm surges disrupt traditional lobster hubs such as Maine. 

“Increasing acidification and warming oceans have a detrimental impact on these animals and their fisheries,” Pattison, also CEO, tells Bloomberg. “We wanted to develop a solution to meet that growing demand for shellfish, particularly lobster, without having to rely on these wild fisheries long-term.” 

The startup just received $1.6 million in a pre-seed funding, and unlike cultured meat firms pursuing cheap cuts like chicken, lobster’s sky-high price will help Cultured Decadence reach price parity earlier. 

Pattison and Johnson hope for a public taste testing event within 12 months. Longer-term, Pattison says the company wants to “make something that doesn’t even exist, [like a] 10-pound lobster tail that already has the butter infused into it.”

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