Illinois plant plans temporarily halted by Upside Foods

Upside Foods, a cultivated meat company, has announced a temporary halt to its plans for building a 187,000-square-foot plant in Glenview, Ill. The plant, named “Rubicon,” was set to produce cultivated chicken as its first product, with future plans for additional species and whole-textured formats. The company chose the name “Rubicon” to signify a point of no return for its operations.

The construction of the plant would have created over 75 jobs in warehousing, logistics, bioprocessing, food production, and other commercial functions. However, Upside Foods has decided to shift its focus to enhancing its Engineering, Production, and Innovation Center (EPIC) in Emeryville, Calif. The company believes that expanding operations at EPIC will allow for a more efficient and cost-effective way to achieve similar production capacity and timeline as initially planned for “Rubicon.”

A spokesperson from Upside stated, “This approach will enable us to scale and commercialize our next generation platform and products, while also extending our runway and resources for future endeavors. We still intend to move forward with constructing a full-scale commercial facility in the future.” Upside Foods opened EPIC in November 2021, a 53,000-square-foot campus designed to produce various species of meat, poultry, and seafood directly from animal cells in ground or whole-cut formats.

EPIC includes areas for milling and mixing cell feed, formulating, packaging, testing products, as well as quality assurance facilities with an office for federal inspectors to oversee the process. As Upside Foods redirects its focus to EPIC, the company remains committed to its goal of revolutionizing the food industry with cultivated meat products.