Impossible Foods announced today that it will start selling their popular plant-based burgers in retail stores in 2019.
The Redwood, CA-based company has been expanding rapidly over the past year. It raised $114 million in April of this year, bringing its total war chest to over $387 million (according to Crunchbase). Their “bleeding” burgers are available in roughly 5,000 restaurants around the globe, including all 377 locations of the fast-food chain White Castle and select Air New Zealand flights. In September of 2017 the company cut the ribbon on an Oakland production facility which can make 500,000 pounds of the plant-based “meat” per month.
— Impossible Foods (@ImpossibleFoods) November 8, 2018
Now the startup is making its long-anticipated entry into the retail space — and their strategy to start out in restaurants seems to have paid off. While competitor Beyond Burgers, which has been available in retail since 2016, is struggling to keep up with demand, Impossible’s comparatively slower rollout has given them ample time to scale up production while building brand awareness.
On a separate note, it will be interesting to see what the price point for Impossible’s retail burgers. Beyond Meat typically retail for around $5.99 for two patties, which is roughly twice the price of beef per ounce. While Impossible debuted at an expensive $18 at Momofuku Nishi, their decision to offer sliders for $1.99 at White Castle shows that they’re trying to appeal to all price points.
By moving into retail, Impossible Foods is becoming an even more direct competitor for Beyond Meat. However, Beyond’s products are available in over 30,000 locations — comparatively, Impossible’s footprint is much smaller. But even if they do scale up to sit side-by-side on the grocery store shelf, demand for plant-based protein is so high that it might not take a bite out of Beyond’s sales. If 2019 is indeed the year we move beyond (ha!) meat, there’s plenty of room for all.