Cultivated meat, poultry and seafood company UPSIDE Foods will locate its first commercial-scale production facility in Glenview, Illinois. Cultivated meat is an innovative solution to helping solve the climate crisis by ensuring animals aren’t harmed while using less land, water, and emissions during production: UPSIDE Foods is the first cultivated meat company to receive FDA approval.
UPSIDE’s new Glenview facility marks a major milestone for cultivated meat production and Illinois’ food processing industry. The company will invest at least $141 million and create a minimum of 75 new jobs. The project will be supported by one of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s (DCEO) first Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) for Startups tax credits.
“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.”
— Dr. Uma Valeti, CEO / Founder, UPSIDE Foods
“We’re excited that the next chapter of our journey towards building a more sustainable, humane, and abundant future will be in Illinois,” said Dr. 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 Foods selected Glenview to locate its new facility due to Illinois’ pro-innovation business environment, shared commitment to innovation and sustainability, talented workforce, and vibrant innovation landscape. Illinois’ strategic location and the state’s longstanding leadership in the meat and food production industry was also a key factor.
“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 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 187,000-square-foot facility in Glenview will open with production of ground cultivated chicken products, with plans to expand to other species and whole-textured formats in the future. Millions of pounds of cultivated meat products will be produced at the new facility, with the potential to expand to over 30 million pounds, a significant step toward creating a more humane, sustainable, and resilient food system.
As one of the world’s largest and most advanced commercial cultivated meat facilities, the state-of-the-art facility in Glenview will house cultivators with capacities of up to 100,000 liters. UPSIDE Foods’ cultivated meat is already being served to diners in California.
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“I commend UPSIDE Foods for selecting suburban Cook County as the site for its inaugural large-scale commercial facility,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “This choice not only pays homage to the area’s rich food manufacturing history but also underscores its emerging prominence in the food tech industry, paving the way for the future of sustenance. This effort also highlights the efficacy of the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership, underscoring what can be achieved through collaboration among regional leaders.”
“Illinois is at the epicenter of food and innovation, and we welcome UPSIDE Foods as the newest member of our state’s growing food tech ecosystem,” said Intersect Illinois CEO Dan Seals.
“We are proud to partner with UPSIDE Foods as they make the strategic decision to harness the unparalleled strengths of the greater Chicagoland region,” said Kyle Schulz, Executive Vice President, World Business Chicago. “Their groundbreaking work in growing meat, poultry, and seafood directly from animal cells aligns with our region’s commitment to innovation, sustainability, and the future of food. We are excited to support UPSIDE Foods in their journey and work together to promote the greater Chicagoland region as a hub for innovative and sustainable solutions that address the challenges of our time and continue the Chicagoland legacy in protein production.”