In 2016, an estimated 7.3 billion pounds of ground beef were purchased by foodservice operations such as university and corporate cafeterias. This is about half of all U.S. ground beef consumption.
Now, these operations have a chance to purchase ground beef with a much happier provenance than a factory farm: Impossible Foods is providing its plant-based beef to new customers in its latest move to take a bite out of the industrial meat market. Booyah.
As Impossible Foods COO David Lee said in a company release:
Impossible fans love to order the burger at their favorite restaurants—and with the average American eating burgers three times per week, more and more people want to enjoy the Impossible Burger at work or on campus. We’re now open for business with universities, companies and other institutions focused on providing sustainable, nutritious and delicious food to their patrons.
The Impossible Burger made its nationwide cafeteria debut at the University of Chicago, followed by a rollout in the headquarters of several Bay Area companies in collaboration with Bon Appétit Management Company, which runs more than 1,000 cafes for universities, corporations, and museums. Impossible is also hitting East Coast clients in a partnership with Compass Group North America.
The restaurants carrying Impossible’s breakout product, the ridiculously meaty (but plant-based) Impossible Burger, have been seeing double-digit same-store sales growth. With that level of consumer interest, it’s not surprising that other vendors are keen to get involved.
As we reported on our blog, Impossible Foods is not just looking to sell more burgers. It’s planning to change the way burgers are made, forever. CEO Pat Brown put a stake in the ground during the grand opening of the company’s production facility in Oakland this year, saying: “In twenty years, we want to be producing more than half of the world’s supply of all of the foods we’re getting from animals. We need to grow on that scale because the problem we’re addressing [i.e., climate change] is so urgent.”
When it comes to transforming the archaic and inefficient industry of meat production, we can’t afford to drag our feet if we want to feed the exploding global population and cap greenhouse gas emissions before its too late.
To learn more about The Good Food Institute's work supporting plant-based food innovation, check out what we do!