More than two years after Impossible Foods introduced its plant-based imitation meat to customers at high-end restaurants like Momofuku Nishi and Jardiniere, the company will make its popular Impossible burgers available to home cooks. Next year, the Redwood City-based company will sell Impossible meat products to consumers at retail outlets. Get ready to fire up that grill.
“By far the No. 1 message from fans on social media is, ‘When will I be able to buy and cook the Impossible Burger at home?’” says Impossible Foods’ CEO and founder Dr. Patrick Brown in a statement.
According to Brown, a former Stanford biochemistry professor, the secret to Impossible’s meat is heme, a molecule found in hemoglobin (a part of blood). Impossible burgers “bleed” with the stuff — no animals needed — thanks to a heme protein naturally found in soy and fermented by the company.
“Cows, pigs, chicken and fish are terribly inefficient at turning plants into meat,” says Brown, gesturing also to the high environmental costs of meat. “We now know how to make meat better — by making it directly from plants.”
As its long, deliberate restaurant roll out generated demand, Impossible expanded production last year with a large Oakland facility that can produce 500,000 pounds of Impossible burger meat per year.
Impossible burgers are now available in 5,000 restaurants — businesses like 377 White Castle locations — up from just 50 last year. So far, the company says it’s sold more than 13 million burgers. And more chains, like California-based Dog Haus, are still signing on. Dog Haus will sell Impossible burgers and sliders starting November 12.
Next up: Your kitchen? The company won’t yet reveal which grocers or retail outlets will stock its products, so stay tuned.