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Can You Make Meat Without an Animal? Hampton Creek Is Betting Its Future on It

Josh Tetrick has gone up against Big Mayo, the egg industry, Target and his own staff and board of directors.

Now, the 37-year-old entrepreneur behind Hampton Creek is vowing to beat a handful of food-tech start-ups to market a meat made without an animal.

"We're about to sell a product before the end of next year," said Tetrick, whose company says it has cultured chicken flesh in a lab, then mixed it with other ingredients to craft prototype chicken fingers.

“It’s not plant-based; it’s 100-percent meat,” Tetrick said, adding that the company believes it “can make chicken that tastes as good as the best chicken on the planet” — as well as beef or fish.

To get there, Hampton Creek rebuilt its board after the previous members exited en masse in June amid reports of acrimony over Tetrick’s leadership. Unlike the old board, the new directors are conspicuous in their association with mainstream, industrialized food and marketing.

The changes, announced late last month, are the latest shape-shifting for a San Francisco start-up that vowed six years ago to revolutionize the way food is produced, starting with eliminating eggs from mayonnaise.

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