Published 9:48 AM EDT Sep 19, 2019
It soon won’t be impossible to grill an Impossible Burger at home.
The plant-based meat patty, already on the menu at White Castle, Burger King, Red Robin and The Cheesecake Factory, is making its grocery store debut Friday at California-based Gelson’s Markets.
Silicon Valley-based Impossible Foods, founded in 2011, said additional retailers will be announced this month and plans for the bio-engineered meat to be available in grocery stores throughout the country by mid-2020.
The launch into grocery stores comes after three years in restaurants and less than two months after the Food and Drug Administration on July 31 approved the protein-based color additive Impossible Foods uses to make its burgers look and “bleed” like real meat. Its competitor Beyond Meat already sells its plant-based products in stores.
Vegan oxtail?: Twitter says the fake meat movement may have gone too far
Plant-based growth: Vegan fast-food choices keep sprouting with more meat-free products coming
A 12-ounce package of Impossible Burger will cost $8.99 at Gelson’s.
While the products are vegan-friendly, the growing demand has been among meat eaters, David Lee, the company’s chief financial officer, told USA TODAY, noting more than 90% of customers self-identify as meat eaters.
“I think there have been many products in the past that appeal to those who are plant-based,” Lee said. “But I think our growth is squarely in the hands of meat eaters who maybe had to compromise before.”
According to the Good Food Institute, refrigerated plant-based burger sales have surged 151% since 2018. The market is likely to keep growing with companies like Kellogg announcing future products.
“Impossible’s entry into retail will help expand and strengthen the plant-based meat market, giving consumers more choice and stimulating demand across the entire sector,” said Bruce Friedrich, executive director of the nonprofit, in a statement.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko