Upside Foods, a cultivated meat, poultry, and seafood company, has chosen the greater Chicagoland region for its first large-scale cultivated meat production plant.
The 187,000-sq.-ft plant, based in Glenview, IL, will produce ground cultivated chicken products, with plans to expand to other species and whole-textured formats in the future. With an initial capacity to produce millions of pounds of cultivated meat products per year and the potential to expand to over 30 million pounds, the plant represents a significant step forward in achieving the company's vision of creating a more humane, sustainable, and resilient food system.
"On behalf of the State of Illinois, we are excited to welcome Upside Foods to the Land of Lincoln and are committed to supporting their growth in the cultivated meat industry," said Illinois Governor JB Pritzker. "Here in Illinois, we are a hub for tech and innovation, thanks to our talented workforce and prime location in the heart of the Midwest. This new facility is a significant investment in our communities — creating new good-paying jobs while advancing our ambitious clean energy goals to create a more sustainable future. We also congratulate Upside Foods on their recent milestone of being the inaugural company to commercially sell cultivated meat in the United States. Their pioneering leadership makes them a perfect fit for the region."
The state-of-the-art plant, designed to house cultivators with capacities of up to 100,000 liters, will stand as one of the world's largest and most advanced commercial cultivated meat facilities. Building on knowledge gained from Upside's Engineering, Production, and Innovation Center (EPIC) in California, Upside's new plant will cultivate meat at commercial scales and serve as a guiding force for Upside's future endeavors in scaling up its operations to the next level.
"We're excited that the next chapter of our journey towards building a more sustainable, humane, and abundant future will be in Illinois," said Uma Valeti, CEO and founder of UPSIDE Foods. "Establishing our plant in this region allows us to tap into a remarkable talent pool, a thriving innovation ecosystem, and a notable history of meat production. We are grateful for the collaboration and partnership that we have built at the state, county, and local levels in our site selection process."
UPSIDE's selection of Glenview was driven by the region's esteemed legacy in meat production, a shared commitment to innovation and sustainability, and strategic geographical advantages. Located at major transportation crossroads, the plant will serve as an ideal hub for large-scale production, distribution, and sale of cultivated meat products. Furthermore, UPSIDE was attracted to the area for its talented workforce and vibrant innovation landscape.
Following its acquisition of Wisconsin-based cultivated seafood company Cultured Decadence, Upside Foods is furthering its commitment to the Midwest with a planned investment of more than $140 million in the region, along with the creation of 75-plus new jobs, from warehousing and logistics positions to bioprocessing and food production, as well as other commercial functions.
Upside selected the name "Rubicon" for its first large-scale cultivated meat production plant with an appreciation for its historical significance as a point of no return. This choice reflects the company's commitment to redefine the future of food.