If you bet that Impossible Foods would be doing its retail launch in L.A., congratulations! You’re probably right.
The Spoon came across a Facebook post from Impossible Foods today advertising an event called Impossible Grandma’s House. The free event will be held on Friday September 20 from 11am-6pm at the Cabana at Westfield Century City in Los Angeles. “Come celebrate (and taste) Impossible Foods’ launch in grocery stores! Grandmas unite under one roof to #CookImpossible and share their culinary wisdom,” reads the invite.
This event also gives us a probable candidate for first grocery store to sell Impossible: Gelson’s is located in the same Westfield Century City complex as the Grandma event.
Details are pretty scant about the event itself. Is it just a PR event with free Impossible Foods grub? Will people migrate over to Gelson’s for the first Impossible retail sale? Are grandmas actually involved?
It’s the grandma bit that trips me up. Why is Impossible, a startup that’s all about leveraging technology to reinvent meat with plants, whose bright branding and hashtag-heavy PR strategy is clearly geared towards the millennial crowd, focusing so heavily on grandmas for their retail launch?
I think I get what Impossible is going for here. The company is trying to show that its plant-based meat is so versatile and delicious that even traditionalists can easily use it in their favorite family recipes. However, I think the strategy rings untrue, especially since the launch event is at a trendy, glitzy shopping mall and not, say, a community restaurant or local market.
As I pointed out in the latest issue of Future Food, it doesn’t really matter where Impossible Foods decides to do its retail launch. Eventually it’ll probably be as ubiquitous on grocery shelves as Beyond Meat — provided Impossible doesn’t come up against anything drastic like a food safety scare or another production shortage.
The bigger questions will be what products Impossible decides to roll out in retail in order to compete with competitors Beyond Meat and bigger players like Hormel, Kellogg, and, as of just two days ago, Trader Joe’s — and how they stack up, taste-wise. Impossible may have built up a recognizable brand through its many restaurant partnerships, especially fast-food ones like Burger King, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to success in the crowded retail aisle.
We’ll be doing deep dives into the Impossible retail launch and rollout on our Future Food newsletter! Make sure to subscribe.