Impossible Burger heading east after 'record-shattering' Cali launch

After a record-shattering launch in California grocery stores, Impossible Burger is making its way east.

California-based startup Impossible Foods is set to debut the 12-ounce packages Thursday at 100 Wegmans grocery stores in seven states. Select Fairway Market's locations in Manhattan will also begin to sell the product beginning tomorrow, a move they insisted on after being in talks with Impossible Foods for roughly two years, according to Impossible Foods CCO Rachel Konrad.

The company’s cooked burgers have been in restaurants since 2016, but it wasn’t until July that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave the OK that let Impossible sell its red, uncooked “beef” in grocery stores.

The company debuted at 27 Gelson's Markets locations in Southern California, setting all-time records, according to the company who added that it even outsold ground beef from cows based on both revenue and total number of pounds sold.

“The launch initiated a historic consumer reaction from both our loyal and new customers who were thrilled to play a part in the future of food," Gelson's Markets CEO Rob McDougall said in a release.

Konrad told FOX Business the success of their products on the west coast only bolsters the idea that this is not a cultural trend of which will be obliterated. She described the demand for plant-based foods a total shift in a market overtaken by meat. 

To replicate the taste of beef, Impossible Foods engineered an ingredient that makes the veggie patty look bloody. The company scanned plants for molecules that would mimic a protein in meat that contains iron and makes blood red. It eventually settled on something called soy leghemoglobin, found in the root of soy plants.

Its grocery store debut comes after Impossible Foods partnered with a veteran food production company to ramp up supplies of its popular plant-based burgers due to months of shortages. The company partnered with OSI Group, an original supplier to McDonald’s and one of the world’s largest food producers.

Impossible Foods has been struggling since April to meet demand from customers, including big chains like White Castle and Burger King as the meatless menu trend continues to grab ahold of the fast-food industry.


Impossible isn’t the only company having trouble meeting the scorching demand for plant-based meat. U.S. sales of meat alternatives have grown an average of 8% each year for the last five years, according to Nielsen, while meat sales were flat in the same time period.

The Impossible Burger is on menus in more than 17,000 restaurants across all 50 states.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.