The now well known alternative meat products company, United States based Impossible Foods is set to venture into the area of selling its products through physical stores, with the first store of the company set to be launched in California, US, later this week.
The store will deliver Impossible Burgers to customers for cooking at home and would be available in a 12-ounce package of the plant-based meat.
Impossible Foods, based in Redwood City, California, is the latest firm to seek out competition with Beyond Meat, another alternative meat company of the US, through sale of its products of alternative meat in grocery stores. Last quarter, about 50 per cent of the total revenue for Beyond Meat was accounted for by sale in grocery store. Just like those of Beyond, the alternative meat products of Impossible would be placed alongside conventional animal meat.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics compiled in August across Western states, the price per package for Impossible Burger products starts at $8.99 per package which is about thrice the price of the average cost of ground beef. There is willingness among meat eaters to shell out for the higher prices for the product, said Impossible CFO David Lee. Eventually, Impossible would be sharing with the customers any cost savings it achieves later on but it first needs to achieve economies of scale.
The business strategy for Impossible was different from the approach that was adopted by Beyond Meat as Impossible for focused on restaurants and then on stores while Beyond did the opposite. The first business to sell the plant-based Impossible Burger in 2016 was New York’s Momofuku Nishi, founded by celebrity chef David Chang. There were other restaurants that also started selling the products which range from fine dining restaurants in San Francisco to Red Robin, White Castle and Burger King.
Recently, Impossible got the clearance from the Food and Drug Administration that now allows the company to use soy leghemoglobin — or heme — as a color additive, which now has paved the road for the company to sell to its products through grocery stores. Heme is very crucial as an ingredient for Impossible’s meatless burger as it give the products the characteristic smell, texture and taste of a burger made from animal beef.
Impossible’s first step into grocery was the deal with Gelson’s. The plans of the company include making its products available throughout the US through grocery stores by mid-2020. The company announced that later this month, the company products would be available in East Coast grocery stores.
Most major grocery chains have shown “plenty of interest” in the company products which will help the company take the products throughout the US, Lee said. However he added that it is not the current aim of the company.
“We can afford to be thoughtful and patient,” Lee said. “We’re not public. We don’t have quarterly results to release.”
It is not the right time for the company to go public, Impossible’s founder and CEO Pat Brown has said, despite investor interest.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)