Plant-Based Impossible Foods Poised to Be the New ‘King’ of Burgers

Plant-Based Impossible Foods Poised to Be the New 'King' of Burgers
image via Impossible Foods/Instagram

Impossible Foods, the Bay Area start-up replicating meat with its “bleeding” plant-based burgers, says it’s now capable of producing one million pounds of its signature plant meat per month, and once it’s running at full capacity it can make enough to feed 4 million people per month.

The company recently relocated it factory to East Oakland from its headquarters in Redwood City, Calif., and another facility in New Jersey. The new facility boasts 67,000 square feet and will require an additional 80 employees to help fulfill its production capabilities.

“Our mission to transform the global food system is urgent, and the opportunity is huge, so we are embarking on one of the most ambitious scale-ups of any startup in the food industry,” Impossible Foods CEO and Founder Patrick O. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., said at an inauguration ceremony last month. “Our goal is to make delicious, sustainable, nutritious and affordable meat for everyone, as soon as possible.”

Funding for the project comes by way of investors including San Francisco-based Open Philanthropy Project, and Singapore-based investment company Temasek, as plant-based foods are experiencing tremendous growth opportunities.

“The Impossible Burger is the world’s only burger that looks, handles, smells, cooks and tastes like ground beef from cows–but is made entirely from plants, with a much smaller environmental footprint than meat from animals,” the company said in a statement.

Impossible Burgers require 75 percent less water than beef from cows while also reducing greenhouse gases by 87 percent, and they require 95 percent less land than beef production. And, like competitor Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger, the Impossible Burger is free from hormones, antibiotics, and cholesterol, while boasting healthy plant protein, fiber, and fats.

The company says the ability to ramp up will help put Impossible Burgers on more restaurant menus. It’s currently in eight restaurants, including New York’s PUBLIC and The Daily, San Francisco’s Cockscomb and Jardinière, and Los Angeles’ Crossroads Kitchen. But the company is planning on placing its burgers in 1,000 more restaurants in the next year and launching retail products with its new production capabilities.

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Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites OrganicAuthority.com and EcoSalon.com, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better. www.jillettinger.com.