Impossible Foods Impact Report: Covid-19 Propels ‘Largest Operational Expansion’ As Plant-Based Goes Mainstream

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Amidst the economic fallout as a result of the pandemic, Impossible Foods has managed to grow its retail footprint by nearly 100-fold, the plant-based meat startup outlined in its new report. Detailing its new sustainability data and the “extraordinary impact” the coronavirus crisis has had in pushing mass consumers towards safer and sustainable meat alternatives in its annual 2020 impact report, Impossible says that this year has been its “largest operational expansion” since its founding in 2011. 

Published earlier this month, Impossible Foods’ annual impact report has revealed how Covid-19 has accelerated its expansion as the plant-based industry benefits from the demand boost, driven by shoppers’ concerns about the dangers of the meat supply chain and renewed interest in health and sustainability. Titled Turn Back the Clock, the paper outlines how the startup’s retail footprint has increased by almost 100-times this year alone in what is described as “by far the biggest operational expansion in the company’s 10-year history”

Notably, the startup has entered the retail market outside of its base in the U.S., recently launching its Impossible Beef to consumers at 200 stores in Hong Kong and Singapore. Within the U.S., the company has landed on the shelves of the country’s biggest retailer Walmart during the pandemic. 

We could turn back the clock on global warming, reverse the global collapse of biodiversity and halt species extinction, deforestation, water pollution and our public health crisis.

Patrick Brown, Founder & CEO, Impossible Foods

According to the company, 92% of sales of its famous bleeding plant-based Impossible Burger is directly displacing animal-derived meats from consumers who are increasingly shifting away from all meat categories this year. 

In an opening statement by the company’s founder and CEO Patrick Brown, he said that this year has made it clear that eliminating animal agriculture is the “magic wand” to solve two global issues in tandem – the climate and ecological crisis, and the public health emergency.

“We could turn back the clock on global warming, reverse the global collapse of biodiversity and halt species extinction, deforestation, water pollution and our public health crisis,” stated Brown. “Our planet needs that magic wand. So Impossible Foods is inventing it – a new technology platform for transforming plants into delicious, nutritious, affordable meat, fish and dairy foods, replacing the old animal-based technology in the global food system.”  

Impossible’s ambitions to create plant-based alternatives for dairy was revealed in October this year, when it stated that the funds it has raised in 2020 – two impressive Series F and Series G rounds totalling US$700 million – will be used to expand its R&D team and focus on more varieties of animal-free product formats and types.

Impossible Burger is rapidly displacing animal-based foods, and we are confident that Impossible Sausage can address the environmental impact of pigs, the world’s most widely consumed animal.

Patrick Brown, Founder & CEO, Impossible Foods

The annual impact report also included for the first time a life-cycle assessment for Impossible Foods’ second product, Impossible Sausage. Compared to its animal counterpart, the analysis, conducted in collaboration with independent experts, showed that the plant-based version generates 71% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, requires 41% land area per year and has a 79% lower water footprint

“Impossible Burger is rapidly displacing animal-based foods, and we are confident that Impossible Sausage can address the environmental impact of pigs, the world’s most widely consumed animal,” said Brown.

After being first introduced to the world at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January this year, the pork analogue product made its first appearance in Asia a few months ago in a city-wide partnership with Starbucks Hong Kong and partnering restaurants in the city

Now available across more than 15,000 restaurants globally in Asia and in the U.S., the company says that Impossible Pork, which has since been named one of the best inventions of the year by Time magazine, stands as its “most successful product rollout” to date. 


All images courtesy of Impossible Foods.


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