Korea’s large conglomerate SK Inc. has invested in American startup in its drive for a sustainable food business. SK Holdings has invested 10 billion won ($7.5 million) in WildType, the US startup promoting the commercialization of cell-cultured salmon meat. SK Inc. has also signed an MoU with Maeil Dairies and Perfect Day (US startup) to merchandise alternative dairy products, such as plant-based milk and cheese.
Through the Wild Type investment, SK Holdings wants to build on a sustainable food portfolio that includes cell-cultured foods (WildType) following existing plant-based meat (Meatris Farm) and microbially fermented proteins (Perfect Day, Nature’s Fynd).
Established in 2016, WildType has achieved texture, taste, and shape similar to real salmon with cell culture technology. It is preparing to launch commercial products such as salmon steak and fillet next year. Even though Wildtype is not yet in commercial production, it has signed product supply contracts with major US franchise companies such as Pokeworks with its outstanding product quality.
In 2020, SK Holdings invested in Perfect Day in the US to enter the sustainable food business. Last year, it invested in Nature’s Fynd, a US microbial fermented protein developer, and Meatris Farm in the Netherlands, leading the market. SK holdings plan to promote the establishment of a joint venture for the alternative milk protein-based product business through cooperation with Perfect Day and Maeil Dairies of the United States in the future.
Perfect Day, in which SK Holdings invested about 120 billion won, is the first company in the world to successfully produce proteins through fermentation by combining microorganisms with protein-generating genes. It supplies milk protein, a raw material for ice cream, chocolate, cream cheese, and smoothies, to various food companies such as Nestle.
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