• Market Crumbs

Fake Meat Burgers Were Just The Tip Of The Iceberg


Image via Eater

Not in the mood for a burger? How about Pork Banh Mi or Pork Dan Dan Noodles? If not a burger or pork, what about some sausage?


Impossible Foods is now giving you all of these options, except they're not real meat. Following the success of their debut product, the plant-based Impossible Burger in 2016, Impossible Foods announced yesterday it will now offer similar versions mimicking pork and sausage. Impossible Pork and Impossible Sausage, as they're aptly named, are Impossible's latest offerings to meet its mission, which is "to save meat and Earth." 


Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown doesn't hide his thoughts on traditional meat production. It's a "ridiculous technology for food," Brown said at CES this week. Brown believes traditional meat contributes to "the two biggest threats humanity has ever faced, which is catastrophic climate change and a catastrophic meltdown in biodiversity." 


Following the success of the Impossible Whopper launch at Burger King last year, Impossible Foods will begin testing a breakfast sandwich at the fast food restaurant. The Impossible Croissan’wich will feature the same ingredients as the current offering such as egg and cheese but will be made with an Impossible Sausage patty. The nationwide launch of the Impossible Whopper last year helped Burger King see its best same-store sales growth since 2015.


As for Impossible Pork, it's not hard to understand why they would make this their next product. Pork is the most widely eaten meat globally, accounting for over 36% of worldwide meat intake. "Pigs are the single most popular source of meat globally and particularly in Asia," Brown said last month. "Internationally, it's a clear No. 1, and our goal [and] our mission is global. For us to have an impact, particularly in Asia, pork is kind of a no-brainer." Impossible Foods didn't say when or where Impossible Pork would go on sale. 


As for what's next, Brown hinted the company could look into creating plant-based seafood, chicken and even bacon. "We're not going to release a bacon product until we feel like anyone who is the most hardcore bacon worshipper thinks it's awesomely delicious," Brown said.


The rise of Impossible Foods hasn't come without controversy, however. Some vegans and vegetarians boycotted the Impossible Whopper because it's cooked on the same grill as "the regular dead cow burger." The cooking method even prompted a lawsuit by a vegan who found meat by-products on his Impossible Whopper. He accused the company of misleading customers by marketing the Impossible Whopper as a meat-free menu item. 


From an ingredient standpoint, the Impossible Burger has also received criticism such as it is highly processed and contains GMOs. Last month, an article went viral claiming the Impossible Whopper has enough estrogen to cause men to grow breasts.   


"The impossible whopper has 44 mg of estrogen and the whopper has 2.5 ng of estrogen," the report stated. "That means an impossible whopper has 18 million times as much estrogen as a regular whopper. Just six glasses of soy milk per day has enough estrogen to grow boobs on a male." 


Impossible Foods, which has already raised more than $750 million from investors, was reportedly recently looking to raise another $300 million to $400 million. The company has raised funds from a wide range of investors including Jay-Z, Katy Perry and Bill Gates. "I think it’s reasonably likely at some point that we’ll go public," Brown said yesterday. 


As Impossible Foods competes with other brands to see who can create the largest variety of imitation meat with the closest taste to the real thing, time will tell how consumers will adapt to these meat substitutes. 


Leftover Crumbs

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