Disrupting the Meat Industry: Tissue Culture Beef Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Dr. Mark Post and his team at Maastricht University were perfecting their tissue culture beef merchandise-made entirely from muscle grown in his laboratory-to give it the same flavor, texture and look of a conventional beef burger. A previous repetition of this product has been taste tested live, with great results, and Sergey Brin, a co-founder of Google, had supplied much of the funding to Post to create the hamburgers. The next measure was to form an independent business around this technology and take it to market. This advanced product both could drastically disrupt the existing beef production and supply chain, and provide an animal welfare and environmentally friendly food that had far less of an environmental impact than traditional beef products.

Mark had to get price down, as it currently cost roughly $330,000 to make a single burger. Mark also needed to discover the right partner(s) to help him bring the item to marketplace, but who should he work with: someone from supply system and the established steak production, a retailer, or somebody completely outside the conventional beef system? How could he expect businesses that are recognized to react to this dislocation of the status quo? Messaging around this product was crucial: How should Post communicate together with the general public to convey that this was a natural product-the manner muscle tissue grew in his lab was the same manner it developed in cows-and overcome public skepticism of obvious scientific involvement within their food?


PUBLICATION DATE: November 07, 2014 PRODUCT #: 515001-HCB-ENG

This is just an excerpt. This case is about SALES & MARKETING

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