It’s official. Impossible has made the leap to retail.
The plant-based meat producer has dominated the news cycle since its 2016 restaurant debut in David Chang’s Momofuku. Since then, we’ve seen the bleeding meatless burger take the restaurant scene by storm as vanguard restaurant chains welcomed the high-fidelity plant-based meat onto their menu.
Now, Impossible is rolling its 2.0 plant-based meat out in retail—starting with 27 Gelson’s Markets locations in Southern California, with east coast expansion slated for later this month. Impossible plans to be available in grocery stores across every region of the United States by the middle of 2020.
Impossible is joining brands like Beyond Meat, MorningStar, Gardein, and Kroger’s newly announced Simple Truth: Plant-Based on grocery store shelves. Crucially, though, Impossible's competition is not plant-based meat brands: it’s the entire meat industry.
Refrigerated plant-based meat, often merchandised alongside conventional animal meat, has been a key growth opportunity for retailers. In fact, according to SPINS data commissioned by GFI and PBFA, refrigerated plant-based burger sales in U.S. retail have surged 151 percent since 2018.
Next-gen plant-based meat is made for meat-eaters, angling to compete with conventional options on taste, price, and accessibility. Following Impossible’s recent expansion into all 7,000+ Burger King locations nationwide, Impossible’s retail launch marks their next major accessibility boost.
GFI executive director Bruce Friedrich points out, “Increased availability is what will allow the plant-based meat sector to really break through. Adding exciting new products like the Impossible Burger to the meat case will accelerate this process. Impossible Foods’ entry into retail will create a much bigger plant-based market. Where plant-based meat is concerned, a rising tide will lift all boats.”