Reshaping the Future of Food Production: UPSIDE Foods Announces Cultivated Meat Production Plant in Chicagoland

September 14, 2023

Reshaping the Future of Food Production: UPSIDE Foods Announces Cultivated Meat Production Plant in Chicagoland

Written by


Upside Foods

In a groundbreaking leap towards a more sustainable and humane food system, we at UPSIDE Foods are thrilled to announce that we’ll be building our first commercial factory for cultivated meat, called Rubicon, in Chicagoland. This monumental move not only signifies a significant step towards achieving UPSIDE’s vision but also promises to revolutionize the very landscape of food production.

A Vision Unveiled:

Situated in the dynamic community of Glenview, Illinois, just north of Chicago, our 187,000-square-foot facility – located adjacent to a nature preserve and also to major transportation corridors – is poised to redefine food industry norms. This factory will start by producing ground cultivated chicken products, with plans to expand to other species and formats in the future. With an initial capacity of millions of pounds of cultivated meat products and the potential to expand up to 30 million pounds, the facility represents a significant step forward in achieving our vision of creating a more humane, sustainable, and resilient food system.

This state-of-the-art facility, which will be equipped to accommodate cultivators with capacities of up to 100,000 liters, stands as a pinnacle of excellence in commercial cultivated meat production. Leveraging insights gleaned from our Engineering, Production, and Innovation Center (EPIC) in California, the new factory is poised to become a beacon of knowledge in large-scale cultivated meat production.

A Resonant Partnership:

We wouldn’t have gotten to this place without the support of the state of Illinois. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has shared his enthusiasm throughout this process, welcoming UPSIDE Foods to the Prairie State. He’s lauded the company’s recent achievement as the first cell-cultivated meat company to sell in the US, and highlighted how this new factory not only aligns with the state’s innovation-focused ethos but also bolsters its clean energy aspirations.

Blog detailBlog detail

Dr. Uma Valeti, our CEO and founder, expressed excitement over the pivotal role Illinois plays in UPSIDE’s journey. Our decision to establish our first commercial-scale factory in the region was driven by factors like a rich heritage in meat production, a commitment to innovation and sustainability, and strategic geographical advantages.

The acquisition of Wisconsin-based cultivated seafood company, Cultured Decadence in 2021 was the beginning of our dedication to the Midwest. This commitment is underpinned by an investment exceeding $140 million in the region and the creation of over 75 new jobs spanning various domains like warehousing, logistics, bioprocessing, food production, and more.

EPIC in California, Rubicon in Illinois:

Blog detailBlog detail

We selected the name “Rubicon” for our first large-scale cultivated meat production plant with an appreciation for its historical significance as a point of no return. This name reflects our commitment to redefining the future of food!

Culmination of Achievements:

From completing the first U.S. consumer sale of cultivated meat to securing a $400M Series C funding and expanding our portfolio to encompass ground-cultivated meat products, UPSIDE continues to soar to new heights in its mission to reshape the culinary landscape. 

In this exciting juncture, UPSIDE Foods invites you to witness and participate in a paradigm shift in food production. The Rubicon facility is more than just a production center… it’s a testament to innovation, sustainability, and a brighter future for all.

Together, we are igniting a food revolution!