The Secret Sauce: Interview with Eshchar Ben-Shitrit from Redefine Meat

The Secret Sauce: Interview with Eshchar Ben-Shitrit from Redefine Meat

By
Arman Anatürk
May 13, 2020

Growing up on a Kibbutz in Israel, Eshchar was no stranger to the realities of meat production.

Growing up on a Kibbutz in Israel, Eshchar was no stranger to the day-to-day realities of meat production and consumption. He even learnt the secrets of cooking a perfect steak in his uncle’s restaurant.

But four years ago, Eshchar became a father for the first time. Unexpectedly, this dramatically changed the way he thought about meat. Nearly overnight, he decided to stop eating it. Missing the taste and texture, he tried out plenty of alternative products - but was repeatedly disappointed.  

Then suddenly the idea struck him. His professional experience at Hewlett Packard combined with his new personal passion for plant-based alternatives meant he was perfectly positioned to fill this gap. So, without a concrete idea or a prototype, he quit his job and founded Redefine Meat in February 2018.

The alternative meat market is booming. As the fastest-growing segment of the food industry, Barclays estimates it could be worth 140 billion dollars by 2030. But far from being scared off by the big fish in a growing pool, Eshchar saw plenty of room for innovation.

Until now, the food industry still relied largely on analog technologies. But Redefine Meat combines the latest thinking in digital printing, additive manufacturing and food technology to take a completely different approach to production.

In this episode of The Secret Sauce, Eshchar talks us through his journey through food dating back to when he worked as a cook in Tel Aviv aged 13, where his obsession with meat came from, what drove him to quit his job and pursue 3D printed meat, and his ongoing search for the perfect plant based steak.

Timestamps

  • 0:50 - Early life & upbringing
    - Growing up in a Kibbutz
    - Eshchar’s obsession with meat growing up
    - Working as a cook in Tel Aviv aged 13
    - From chef to lawyer
  • 10:20 - Redefine’s Meat approach
    - Recreating the ‘meat experience’
    - Breaking down meat as we know it
    - Utilizing 3D printing
    - Flavor delivery and aftertaste
  • 16:35 - Protein sources
    - Why pea protein
    - Funghi as an alternative protein source
    - Taste, texture, and pricing
    - “alternative meat is not a health food”
  • 26:25 - What led Eshchar to start a company
    - Going from the ‘meat guy’ to plant-based
    - What sparked Eschar’s switch to go vegan
    - Laying the groundwork before you quit
    - Why quitting was essential
  • 36:00 - The realities of launching a startup
    - “What you're doing is wrong and you don't know how to do it”
    - Early doubts and challenges
    - Finding the right people and convincing them to quit
    - Early prototypes and failed experiments
  • 43:20 - Approach to fundraising
    - “raise only what we need now”
    - Why fundraising is essential to grow
    - The weight of being a CEO
  • 49:55 - Words of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs

The Secret Sauce by FoodHack

In a fast changing industry, it's good to know how to get ahead. The Secret Sauce is a business podcast where host, Arman Anaturk, co-founder of FoodHack, speaks with disruptive entrepreneurs and innovators from across the food industry to learn more about the businesses they’ve built.

Written by
Arman Anatürk

Lived across North America, Europe and Asia, leading to my questionable cooking style. Jumped two feet forward into the startup world in 2013, and haven't looked back since. Always on the hunt for the next story or inside scoop to cover - email me or connect on LinkedIn.

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Growing up on a Kibbutz in Israel, Eshchar was no stranger to the realities of meat production.

Growing up on a Kibbutz in Israel, Eshchar was no stranger to the day-to-day realities of meat production and consumption. He even learnt the secrets of cooking a perfect steak in his uncle’s restaurant.

But four years ago, Eshchar became a father for the first time. Unexpectedly, this dramatically changed the way he thought about meat. Nearly overnight, he decided to stop eating it. Missing the taste and texture, he tried out plenty of alternative products - but was repeatedly disappointed.  

Then suddenly the idea struck him. His professional experience at Hewlett Packard combined with his new personal passion for plant-based alternatives meant he was perfectly positioned to fill this gap. So, without a concrete idea or a prototype, he quit his job and founded Redefine Meat in February 2018.

The alternative meat market is booming. As the fastest-growing segment of the food industry, Barclays estimates it could be worth 140 billion dollars by 2030. But far from being scared off by the big fish in a growing pool, Eshchar saw plenty of room for innovation.

Until now, the food industry still relied largely on analog technologies. But Redefine Meat combines the latest thinking in digital printing, additive manufacturing and food technology to take a completely different approach to production.

In this episode of The Secret Sauce, Eshchar talks us through his journey through food dating back to when he worked as a cook in Tel Aviv aged 13, where his obsession with meat came from, what drove him to quit his job and pursue 3D printed meat, and his ongoing search for the perfect plant based steak.

Timestamps

  • 0:50 - Early life & upbringing
    - Growing up in a Kibbutz
    - Eshchar’s obsession with meat growing up
    - Working as a cook in Tel Aviv aged 13
    - From chef to lawyer
  • 10:20 - Redefine’s Meat approach
    - Recreating the ‘meat experience’
    - Breaking down meat as we know it
    - Utilizing 3D printing
    - Flavor delivery and aftertaste
  • 16:35 - Protein sources
    - Why pea protein
    - Funghi as an alternative protein source
    - Taste, texture, and pricing
    - “alternative meat is not a health food”
  • 26:25 - What led Eshchar to start a company
    - Going from the ‘meat guy’ to plant-based
    - What sparked Eschar’s switch to go vegan
    - Laying the groundwork before you quit
    - Why quitting was essential
  • 36:00 - The realities of launching a startup
    - “What you're doing is wrong and you don't know how to do it”
    - Early doubts and challenges
    - Finding the right people and convincing them to quit
    - Early prototypes and failed experiments
  • 43:20 - Approach to fundraising
    - “raise only what we need now”
    - Why fundraising is essential to grow
    - The weight of being a CEO
  • 49:55 - Words of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs

The Secret Sauce by FoodHack

In a fast changing industry, it's good to know how to get ahead. The Secret Sauce is a business podcast where host, Arman Anaturk, co-founder of FoodHack, speaks with disruptive entrepreneurs and innovators from across the food industry to learn more about the businesses they’ve built.

Become a FoodHack+ member to get unlimited access

  • Read Unlimited Articles
  • Access Member Directory
  • Join a Global Community
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Growing up on a Kibbutz in Israel, Eshchar was no stranger to the realities of meat production.

Growing up on a Kibbutz in Israel, Eshchar was no stranger to the day-to-day realities of meat production and consumption. He even learnt the secrets of cooking a perfect steak in his uncle’s restaurant.

But four years ago, Eshchar became a father for the first time. Unexpectedly, this dramatically changed the way he thought about meat. Nearly overnight, he decided to stop eating it. Missing the taste and texture, he tried out plenty of alternative products - but was repeatedly disappointed.  

Then suddenly the idea struck him. His professional experience at Hewlett Packard combined with his new personal passion for plant-based alternatives meant he was perfectly positioned to fill this gap. So, without a concrete idea or a prototype, he quit his job and founded Redefine Meat in February 2018.

The alternative meat market is booming. As the fastest-growing segment of the food industry, Barclays estimates it could be worth 140 billion dollars by 2030. But far from being scared off by the big fish in a growing pool, Eshchar saw plenty of room for innovation.

Until now, the food industry still relied largely on analog technologies. But Redefine Meat combines the latest thinking in digital printing, additive manufacturing and food technology to take a completely different approach to production.

In this episode of The Secret Sauce, Eshchar talks us through his journey through food dating back to when he worked as a cook in Tel Aviv aged 13, where his obsession with meat came from, what drove him to quit his job and pursue 3D printed meat, and his ongoing search for the perfect plant based steak.

Timestamps

  • 0:50 - Early life & upbringing
    - Growing up in a Kibbutz
    - Eshchar’s obsession with meat growing up
    - Working as a cook in Tel Aviv aged 13
    - From chef to lawyer
  • 10:20 - Redefine’s Meat approach
    - Recreating the ‘meat experience’
    - Breaking down meat as we know it
    - Utilizing 3D printing
    - Flavor delivery and aftertaste
  • 16:35 - Protein sources
    - Why pea protein
    - Funghi as an alternative protein source
    - Taste, texture, and pricing
    - “alternative meat is not a health food”
  • 26:25 - What led Eshchar to start a company
    - Going from the ‘meat guy’ to plant-based
    - What sparked Eschar’s switch to go vegan
    - Laying the groundwork before you quit
    - Why quitting was essential
  • 36:00 - The realities of launching a startup
    - “What you're doing is wrong and you don't know how to do it”
    - Early doubts and challenges
    - Finding the right people and convincing them to quit
    - Early prototypes and failed experiments
  • 43:20 - Approach to fundraising
    - “raise only what we need now”
    - Why fundraising is essential to grow
    - The weight of being a CEO
  • 49:55 - Words of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs

The Secret Sauce by FoodHack

In a fast changing industry, it's good to know how to get ahead. The Secret Sauce is a business podcast where host, Arman Anaturk, co-founder of FoodHack, speaks with disruptive entrepreneurs and innovators from across the food industry to learn more about the businesses they’ve built.

Growing up on a Kibbutz in Israel, Eshchar was no stranger to the realities of meat production.

Growing up on a Kibbutz in Israel, Eshchar was no stranger to the day-to-day realities of meat production and consumption. He even learnt the secrets of cooking a perfect steak in his uncle’s restaurant.

But four years ago, Eshchar became a father for the first time. Unexpectedly, this dramatically changed the way he thought about meat. Nearly overnight, he decided to stop eating it. Missing the taste and texture, he tried out plenty of alternative products - but was repeatedly disappointed.  

Then suddenly the idea struck him. His professional experience at Hewlett Packard combined with his new personal passion for plant-based alternatives meant he was perfectly positioned to fill this gap. So, without a concrete idea or a prototype, he quit his job and founded Redefine Meat in February 2018.

The alternative meat market is booming. As the fastest-growing segment of the food industry, Barclays estimates it could be worth 140 billion dollars by 2030. But far from being scared off by the big fish in a growing pool, Eshchar saw plenty of room for innovation.

Until now, the food industry still relied largely on analog technologies. But Redefine Meat combines the latest thinking in digital printing, additive manufacturing and food technology to take a completely different approach to production.

In this episode of The Secret Sauce, Eshchar talks us through his journey through food dating back to when he worked as a cook in Tel Aviv aged 13, where his obsession with meat came from, what drove him to quit his job and pursue 3D printed meat, and his ongoing search for the perfect plant based steak.

Timestamps

  • 0:50 - Early life & upbringing
    - Growing up in a Kibbutz
    - Eshchar’s obsession with meat growing up
    - Working as a cook in Tel Aviv aged 13
    - From chef to lawyer
  • 10:20 - Redefine’s Meat approach
    - Recreating the ‘meat experience’
    - Breaking down meat as we know it
    - Utilizing 3D printing
    - Flavor delivery and aftertaste
  • 16:35 - Protein sources
    - Why pea protein
    - Funghi as an alternative protein source
    - Taste, texture, and pricing
    - “alternative meat is not a health food”
  • 26:25 - What led Eshchar to start a company
    - Going from the ‘meat guy’ to plant-based
    - What sparked Eschar’s switch to go vegan
    - Laying the groundwork before you quit
    - Why quitting was essential
  • 36:00 - The realities of launching a startup
    - “What you're doing is wrong and you don't know how to do it”
    - Early doubts and challenges
    - Finding the right people and convincing them to quit
    - Early prototypes and failed experiments
  • 43:20 - Approach to fundraising
    - “raise only what we need now”
    - Why fundraising is essential to grow
    - The weight of being a CEO
  • 49:55 - Words of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs

The Secret Sauce by FoodHack

In a fast changing industry, it's good to know how to get ahead. The Secret Sauce is a business podcast where host, Arman Anaturk, co-founder of FoodHack, speaks with disruptive entrepreneurs and innovators from across the food industry to learn more about the businesses they’ve built.

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