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Impossible Foods has expanded to Australia and New Zealand. For the first time, diners in both countries will be able to grab the iconic plant-based Impossible Burger in restaurants. It represents the third and fourth global market launches the Silicon Valley food tech has made in just over a year.
Impossible Foods has just introduced its flagship Impossible Burger to consumers in Australia and New Zealand, for its third and fourth international market expansion within the past 14 months. The food tech, based in California, has partnered with restaurants in Auckland and Sydney for the rollout of its heme-filled bleeding plant-based burger.
Impossible Foods in Australia and New Zealand
The launch comes shortly after the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) gave its approval for Impossible’s key heme ingredient earlier this year. The food tech uses the red GMO ingredient in its meat analogues, which gives the Impossible Burger its famous “bleed” and iron-rich mouthfeel and texture.
Impossible teased its plan to enter the region back in April, when it posted a job listing for an Australia and New Zealand Country Manager.
In Australia, Impossible Beef will be available at all 150 outlets of Grill’d, the nation’s leading burger chain that previously partnered with Beyond Meat, and at Chef Julian Cincotta’s fried chicken joint Butter, which has several locations across the Greater Sydney area.
Over in New Zealand, Impossible Burgers will be served across the chain Burger Burger, as well as at Fatima’s, a Middle Eastern restaurant. Other participating restaurants in the country include Ashby, Vino Vino and Cantine.
For now, consumers in the region will be able to get their hands on Impossible products via foodservice channels only, in keeping with the brand’s gastronomy-first approach to garner a fanbase before entering the retail market. Restaurant operators can partner with local importers B&J in Australia, and Integrity Food Distributors in New Zealand.
Targeting ‘devoted meat-eaters’ in the region
Dennis Woodside, president of Impossible, says the startup’s expansion into Australia and New Zealand marked “another huge step” in tackling unsustainable animal agriculture. “Both countries are home to some of the most devoted meat-eaters on earth, and we know consumers there are going to love Impossible Beef.”
Meat consumption in both countries is among the highest in the world, standing next to the US and Argentina, with local cuisines often featuring meat-centric dishes such as barbecues and roasts. By offering a plant-based alternative for beef, Impossible says it is taking direct aim at one of the most popular and carbon-intensive animal proteins.
According to Impossible, its beef alternative, which is mainly made from soy protein, uses 96% less land, 87% less water and emits 89% fewer GHG emissions compared to its conventional counterpart.
Impossible will now be competing in a fast-growing market, with 2020 having been a record year for the plant-based meat industry in the region. An analysis by Food Frontier reported 46% year-on-year growth in retail sales in Australia, while manufacturing revenues in the country increased from AU$35 million to AU$70 million.
Homegrown brands that have already established a strong following with consumers include Aussie leader v2food, boasting partnerships with Burger King and having recently bagged $54 million for further expansion, and mushroom-based meat brand Fable Food and carbon-neutral “veef” maker Fenn Foods. Over in New Zealand, Sunfed Foods offers vegan chicken and bacon.
Impossible Foods extends global reach
Impossible has ramped up its global footprint rapidly in just over one year. Just weeks before, the company debuted in the Middle East for the first time, rolling out across the UAE. Other international markets that Impossible is available include Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong.
It is unclear whether Impossible plans to bring its other products into the Australia and New Zealand markets soon. Aside from plant-based beef, Impossible’s range includes sausages, pork and chicken nuggets, and has previously made clear its intentions to develop alternatives for all animal-based products, including milk and seafood.
All images courtesy of Impossible Foods.