Impossible Foods, the company behind the viral Impossible Burger available in grocery stores, Burger King, and other restaurants, isn’t satisfied stopping there. The company’s next trick? Impossible Bacon.
“We’re meant for everybody,” sayid Impossible Foods CFO David Lee in an interview with Fox Business. “Candidly, our business and our mission is only served if hardcore meat eaters happily pick our product. That’s our target.”
According to Lee, 95 percent of consumers eat meat, most at least once per day. He’s one of them, so he doesn’t want Impossible Foods’ products to be products that only satisfy the vegetarian market.
To this end, the company is currently market-testing Impossible Bacon, a plant-based bacon, hoping to soon be able to serve the first kosher bacon cheeseburger. Impossible Foods introduced Impossible Pork and Impossible Sausage in January of 2020, and Impossible Bacon will be a refinement of that.
“We’re competing for that juicy, delicious piece of pork or beef that meat eaters crave,” Lee said. “And we are such a better choice… As long as we deliver on better juiciness and taste, we’re really confident it’s a good choice for your health and the environment.”
Bacon is among the most popular meat products in America. Americans eat on average 18 pounds of it per year, a demand that makes it the most expensive part of a pig. Starting in the early 2000s, bacon became a food craze that took it beyond burgers and the breakfast menu and made it into a condiment on popcorn, donuts, and anything else even remotely compatible.
Pigs are better than cattle as far as harm to the environment, but pig factory farming is still a destructive industry. One hog raised to slaughter weight will take from 700 to 1,000 pounds of feed, an inefficient use of agricultural space and energy.
“Every time we meat eaters pick Impossible, we’re making a better choice for our health. We’re making a better choice for the planet,” says Lee about all of his products.
Narrowing in on Impossible Pork, he describes it as having 60 percent less fat for nearly the same protein, 40 percent less calories, no cholesterol, and more than twice the iron. It’s not a salad, but it’s not meant to be. That’s not the market they’re aiming for.
Vegan meat substitutes are becoming increasingly popular. Impossible Foods’ competitor, Beyond Meat, had its first profitable year in 2018 and made its IPO in 2019.
“We’re hopeful that everyone can enjoy [Impossible Bacon],” Lee said. “And as we get bigger and bigger, we hope to have that be available more and more globally.”
Photo: Impossible Foods’ Silicon Valley headquarters. Credit: Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com