Impossible Foods’ mission to end its burger shortage is complete.
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The plant-based protein maker said Thursday that the Impossible Burger is back in stock and it has informed restaurants and distributors this week that there’s “ample stock” of the popular food item. Rachel Konrad, Impossible Foods’ chief communications officer, told FOX Business the company sent a letter to its distributors Monday announcing the lift on allocation caps.
“Starting today, you should be able to place orders of Impossible Burger bricks at your desired quantities and at your desired order intervals,” the letter to distributors read. “Thanks to increased efficiencies in our plant, we produced a record amount of product in June -- and we are on track to break that record in July.”
Konrad told FOX Business the company was able to triple its weekly production due to changes made at its plant in Oakland, Calif., when the shortage began in April — which led to reported lack of Impossible Burgers at White Castle and Red Robin. Impossible admitted in June that it was struggling to meet “scorching” demand for its product.
“When the shortage began in earnest, in early April, we immediately asked our Redwood City headquarter-based employees if they would volunteer for 12-hour shifts in Oakland [plant],” Konrad said, adding that 40 of the companies’ employees, including scientists and engineers, went to the facility help out.
Impossible Foods added 100 employees to the Oakland plant since April. Instead of producing quarter-pound patties and small sliders, the plant only produces 5-pound bricks to streamline production, Konrad said.
“This greatly increased the total amount of product we could make and ship. We still currently make only the 5-pound brick format,” Konrad said. She added that there are plans to bring back the other patty formats on a later date.
The plant began running 24/7 with all its workers on 12-hour shifts following the shortage. Konrad said employees switched to three 8-hour shifts last week to make the hours more “manageable and sustainable for its workforce.”
Impossible will also announce a partnership with a major manufacturing operation soon, Konrad said without providing further information. The move will allow the plant-based protein maker to “dramatically increase” its production capacity.
“We recognize that this shortage has been very difficult for small business owners, who have come to depend on the foot traffic, buzz and revenue that the Impossible Burger generates -- and we sincerely apologize to restaurant owners and customers who were hit by the shortage,” Konrad told FOX Business.
“We want to win back people's confidence and show business owners in particular that we can be a valuable partner -- and we intend to win back every single customer who had to take us off their menus over the past three months,” she added.
Impossible sells its popular plant-based burgers to more than 400 distributors and redistributors, which then sell the product to restaurants such as Burger King and White Castle.
The plant-based burger is now in more than 9,000 restaurants, which also include Little Caesars and Qdoba. Burger King, which has about 7,200 locations, also announced in April it plans to roll out the Impossible Whopper nationwide by the end of 2019.
When reports surfaced about shortages of the Impossible sliders at select White Castle locations, the chain’s Vice President Jamie Richardson told FOX Business that it was due to the switch of the patty shape from round to square to match the other sliders on the chain’s menu.
“Right now [the current shortage] it’s because of two key things -- one is people love the product and they’ve come back and bought more and more, which is great,” Richardson said in June. “Another thing is that we looked at our menu and realized that every slider is square.”