The alternative beef Impossible Foods was launched at 2,000 Walmart locations today, a few days after it captured distribution at Trader Joe’s, placing vegetable protein products on the shelves of America’s largest meat seller.
This is a peak achievement in a year that has seen Impossible reach surge from 150 grocery store locations at the beginning of the year to more than 8,000 locations in all 50 states, one of the few companies that have benefited from this pandemic. The company is still far behind the vegetable competitors Beyond Meat, which has been sold at Walmart since 2016 and can be found in 25,000 grocery store locations in the US
“There is no longer a more important institution in food retailing than Walmart,” CEO and founder Pat Brown said, citing how 90% of impossible customers are meat eaters. “This is most in demand when placed in the fresh meat department. That makes sense because our consumers are looking for meat. ”
Sales that may not have increased since orders for home stay began in March, and especially when meatpacking across the country struggled with the huge Covid-19 outbreak. An estimated 38,000 workers have been infected and at least 171 have died during the pandemic, according to the Food and Environmental Reporting Network, which led to the closure of factories.
Prices soared, supply chains curved, buyers panicked – and vegetable food producers took advantage. While vegetable meat still accounts for less than 1% of total meat sales, refrigerated alternatives such as Beyond and Impossible rose 241% during the peak panic purchase of meat this spring, as wholesalers limit purchases of meat amid supply concerns.
Now that meat prices are approaching pre-pandemic levels, Impossible is betting on a scale to reduce costs and make them more competitive with commodity beef.
At Walmart, an Impossible soy-based product will cost $ 7.94 per pound, at least to start (retailers can change prices as desired after launch). Beyond frozen beef alternatives, meanwhile, which are not GMO certified and made from pea protein, are sold at Walmart for $ 5.48 per pound. The fresh burger costs $ 4.84 per pound.
After reaching record highs, the price of industrial beef is currently at $ 3.39 per pound this week, while burger buns cost an average of $ 5.28 per pound.
It is impossible to expect to provide monthly updates on how prices will continue to decline, but refuses to say whether the company is close to going public amid expansion and raising $ 1.3 billion to date. Given the price of Beyond Meat shares rose 175% since the IPO last year, there is enough taste.
“Don’t be offended to our investors,” Brown said, “I spent zero time thinking about it.”