At a press conference today, Impossible Foods revealed a prototype for a plant-based milk alternative as part of its ambitious plans to eliminate animal protein from the food supply chain. The product will be called Impossible Milk and will look and function just like cow’s milk.
To illustrate the differences, Impossible showed its prototype off alongside other alternative milks at the press conference, even mixing it with a cup of coffee to demonstrate how it does not curdle as other plant-based milks do.
Though the milk won’t be available to customers at any point in the near future, It is part of Impossible’s plan to diversify its products to include a range of plant-based alternative proteins. The company is also working on alternatives to chicken and steak, and CEO Pat Brown told MIT Technology Review that Impossible is on a mission to “completely replace the world’s most destructive technology by far, which is the use of animals, by 2035.”
“We will succeed or fail based on whether we build a complete technology platform that creates all the foods we get today from animals,” he added.
To help realize that lofty goal, Impossible also said at the press conference that it intends to double the size of its R&D team over the next year and launched the “Impossible Investigator” project to entice scientists to join the team.
Today’s news follows Impossible’s just-announced expansion onto retail store shelves in Hong Kong and Singapore. And overall, 2020 has been a busy year for the company. It raised another $200 million in August, expanded distribution of its products to Walmart, Trader Joe’s, and other food retailers, and launched a direct-to-consumer e-commerce store.
The company’s ambitions to branch out from faux beef into dairy, fish, poultry, and other areas of alt protein comes as the entire sector is seeing enormous growth and investment. Impossible’s chief rival Beyond hasn’t exactly rested on its laurels this year, either, having also expanded its product line, launched its own D2C store, and launched products at retail stores in China.
One area we won’t see Impossible branch into, at least for now: cell-based meat. Pat Brown didn’t waffle about at SKS last week when he said the idea of commercially produced meat from a lab was never going to happen. Of course, the company could always change its stance. For now, though, expect Impossible ton continue its focus on plant-based proteins for the foreseeable future.