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Health Science What's New

Impossible Foods’ New Burger 2.0 Will Be Available To EVERYONE This Year

2019 is officially going to the biggest year yet for Impossible Foods and their groundbreaking, plant-based “bleeding” burger.

They’ve kicked things off with the Impossible Burger 2.0, a novel remake of their already buzzworthy patty that improves on things customers were asking for. The new quarter-pound burger is completely gluten-free and has comparable iron and protein to beef. It’s able to manage all this while having no cholesterol, 9 grams less of fat, and 50 less calories than a standard 80/20 beef patty of the same weight.

Impossible Foods has managed all of this while continuing to retain their signature beef-like taste, using leghemoglobin (a plant-based version of heme) as the key flavoring agent. They’ve managed to get the similarities even closer, as 88% of those who tried it in taste tests said it tasted beefier and meatier, with a 3:1 preference against the old Impossible Burger.

The main goal for Impossible Foods in 2019 is now to become as ubiquitous as possible, and they’ve already taken major steps to make that happen. All of the company’s 5,000-plus locations in the US should have version 2.0 with March. This includes major food distributors that many restaurants already get their main supplies from, opening up Impossible Foods to a whole new field of clients.

For those looking to cook the patty at home, it will begin popping up in select grocery stores later this year. This way, whether we want to try it in a restaurant or make it our way, the faux ground beef replica will be accessible in both forms.

While it’s known as the “Impossible Burger,” the new version is capable of much more than being a patty. It can hold up on a grill for kabobs, and be transformed into meatballs, dumpling fillings, stews, and more. Basically, anywhere you may use ground beef, you now have a more sustainable, plant-based option.

In just a few short years, Impossible Foods’ signature product has gone from a single client to being widespread across the nation. They’ve still got plenty of room to grow, too. A representative of Impossible Foods says that currently, their production plant can produce a million burgers a month, a quarter of the 4 million that they’re aspiring to crank out in that time span. Their omnipresence has arrived, and they’re still not even producing at peak capacity yet.

If that doesn’t speak volumes about the plant-forward, more sustainable future of food we’re heading towards, I don’t know what will.

All photos courtesy of Impossible Foods
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Grocery News Packaged Food Plant-Based

It’s Official: Impossible Burgers Will Debut In Grocery Stores Next Year

Ever since the plant-based, “bleeding” Impossible Burger debuted a few years ago, customers have been clamoring for the chance to play with it themselves, at home. We finally have a solid timetable on when that will be possible.

Photo: Isai Rocha // Foodbeast

Impossible Foods has confirmed that in 2019, they will be launching their plant-based meat in grocery stores.

The company isn’t providing any other details at this time, so we’re not sure how it will be sold.

Currently, vegan burger purveyor Beyond Beef sells their meat in two-patty packages for grocery, but it’s unknown if Impossible Foods will take a similar approach.

The burgers have exploded on the scene since their debut, with availability currently expanded to about 5,000 restaurants globally with over 13 million consumed to date. That puts the company’s product on reach with that of some major fast food chains.

With the release to grocery next year, Impossible Foods believes that it can eliminate the need for animals in food production by 2035. It’s a bold claim, but considering that estimates say meat production will be unsustainable by 2050, that’s good news for the future of food, and the planet.

An Impossible Foods representative has said that more news will be coming in the next few months, so a concrete final launch date could be announced within that time span.

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Fast Food Opinion

Beyond The Beef: How Major Chains Are Capitalizing Big On Burger Alternatives

Burgers are the bread and butter of McDonald’s, White Castle, and many other big names in the quick-service industry. However, the future appears to be unsustainable for the fast food staple based on climate research and the environmental cost of raising cows for meat.

Several chains are beginning to develop and launch burger alternatives due to sustainability initiatives and a growing interested in plant-based foods. By doing so, they’ve carved out niches in the industry and established themselves as frontrunners when it comes to looking at ways to innovate the burger beyond beef.

Photo courtesy of White Castle

The biggest name to launch a plant-based burger alternative is White Castle, who has incorporated the Impossible Burger into their selection of sliders. Impossible Foods’ crowning jewel has gained popularity because of its taste and satiety, which come pretty close to mimicking that of beef. While several chains have started to carry the burger as a result, White Castle has done so in the most prolific fashion.

What started as a regional test for them went national after locations carrying the Impossible Sliders saw a meteoric 250% jump in market share versus those that didn’t carry them. That should provide a significant boost to White Castle sales nationwide for the coming year. That figure dropped $17 million from 2016 to 2017, according to Restaurant Business Online, but with the higher price point and interest the Impossible Slider ($1.99) provides for White Castle, it should easily make up that loss and then some.

White Castle CEO Lisa Ingram is known for expanding her chain’s menu to target future generations, and the Impossible Slider fits right into her vision. It’s also brought the chain to the forefront of fast food innovation, and should help accelerate growth as it looks into expanding beyond Vegas into more West Coast locations in the near future.

Photo courtesy of Fatburger

As a slider, White Castle’s Impossible Burger creations are the most affordable and accessible in the market. But for those looking for the full burger, there are other fast food chains out there offering up full-sized versions of the “bleeding vegan patty.”

Fatburger immediately comes to mind as a prime example. They’ve seen a 9.5% growth in same-store sales in just the past quarter, which Fatburger attributes to the plant-based patty. Upon Fatburger’s nationwide launch of the Impossible Burger earlier this year, CEO Andy Wiederhorn called it one of their best test items to date. The chain was facing bankruptcy less than a decade ago, but has clearly turned its fortunes around since, and partially has its plant-based offering to thank for that.

Photo courtesy of Umami Burger

The chain that has arguably found the greatest success to date with Impossible Foods’ plant-based meat is Umami Burger. Known for influencing a nationwide craft burger movement, Umami has since expanded its menu and growth heavily through their partnership with Impossible Foods. Their version of the vegan burger is a top-3 seller at every location they own, and accounts for a fifth of sales and increased sales by 27% in its first 6 weeks on the menu.

Umami has since entered a 2-year exclusivity contract with Impossible Foods, and it’s fueled foot traffic as guests come in specifically to try their version of the vegan patty. They don’t plan to slow down the partnership anytime soon, as in just a short amount of time, it’s become a top-selling and dominant item for the artisan burger concept.

 

sonic signature slingersPhoto courtesy of Sonic Drive-In

Of course, not everyone is working with Impossible Foods to develop their burger alternatives. Some of fast food’s biggest names have their own creative teams ideating unique creations that are healthier and more sustainable than your standard burger.

Amongst these, Sonic Drive-In has emerged as a key innovator with their Signature Slinger. A 25-75 blend of mushroom and beef that boosts flavor while providing a healthier option, the Slingers have found popularity within Sonic’s mainstream consumer base. The response so far has been “overwhelmingly positive,” according to representatives, with a majority of those who try it once saying they would order it again. Sonic has even given the burger an extended stay as part of their $2.99 Carhop Classic deal, confirming that the blended mushroom burger is resonating amongst consumers.

It’s important for a concept like Sonic’s Signature Slinger to succeed because it represents a bridge between the true burger and the plant-based alternative. If you can prove that you don’t need to use all meat to provide health benefits without a loss of flavor, then customers are more willing to try and buy the more sustainable burger option.

Sonic, White Castle, Umami Burger, and Fatburger are all pushing the envelope with the availability and growth they’ve experienced from incorporating burger alternatives. They haven’t lost their main target audiences as a result, but have instead tacked on a massive swath of vegan and vegetarian consumers that didn’t have much of a satiating meal option in the world of fast food before. It’s caused other big names, including McDonald’s (who began testing a new burger alternative called the “McVegan” in Europe last year), to look into cutting their beef as well, meaning that they’re helping to influence a more sustainable and healthier future of food.

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Fast Food Plant-Based Restaurants Video

This Vegan Fast Food Joint Gives Us A Glimpse Into The Meatless Future

There’s a lot of talk these days about the future of food, with many believing we will be unable to produce meat by the year 2050. If that happens, at least we can all rest assured knowing that we’ve already got a vegan fast food burger spot up and running.

Photo: Foodbeast // Marc Kharrat

Monty’s is a vegan burger joint in Los Angeles that customers are already calling the “plant-based In-N-Out” because of its menu, ambiance, and treatment of the patties.

Since they opened their doors last month, they’ve drawn throngs of curious omnivores and herbivores eager to see what the future of fast food could look like.

At the core of Monty’s signature item is the Impossible Burger, the “bleeding” vegan patty that comes as close to a beef patty than nearly all others. Coincidentally, one of the first renditions of the Impossible Patty also drew inspirations from In-N-Out, so the proof that this faux burger meat can stand up to fast food already exists.

Monty’s toppings are pretty similar to In-N-Out’s, as well, with grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, and a vegan American cheese (from Follow Your Heart) that evokes the aromas and textures of your standard Double-Double.

Like In-N-Out, Monty’s branding is simple but memorable, the menu is small but packs in the quality, and there’s even a “secret” menu, including a vegan take on Animal Fries.

The only thing that Monty’s doesn’t match In-N-Out on is price. Making beef burgers is still incredibly cheap, and you can get one for $3-4. At Monty’s, a single cheeseburger runs for $11 and a double sets you back $14. That’ll definitely change as Impossible Foods (the company behind the patty) scales more and lowers costs, but for now, getting a taste of the future of burgers will set you back a bit.

Nonetheless, Monty’s is a shining example and gold standard of what vegan fast food can be like, and makes the culinary genre accessible to those who would otherwise avoid plant-based eats altogether. It’s an important fixture and restaurant to look to as the future of meat looks bleak.

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Health Restaurants

Umami Burger’s Success With The Vegan Impossible Burger Is Fueling Their Expansion

Umami Burger seems to have found incredible success in their partnership with Impossible Foods. So much so, in fact, that CEO Daniel Del Olmo sees the plant-based patty not just as a single menu option, but as the base for a vast lineup of Impossible Burgers that stack up with Umami’s regular offerings.

umami burger

Umami’s newest innovations, Del Olmo told Foodbeast, are just the beginning of that vision. They just unveiled a brand new Vegan Truffle Burger (with a savory vegan truffle cheese), a Vegan Barbecue Burger, and a classic Impossible Burger as new flavors on their menu. While they will be on the menu for three months’ time, Del Olmo hopes to have more Impossible Burger creations ready by then to join them.

This marks the beginning of a new phase for Umami and Impossible Foods, who have collaborated on classic burgers and a trio of sliders (inspired by Jaden Smith) in the past. The launch of these three burgers, though, coincides with the appeal they have had so far to the public as well as Del Olmo’s creative vision for the future of this partnership.

For Del Olmo and Umami, the Impossible Burger has become a huge success. After just selling 50 a day at the initial launch, the plant-based burger now accounts for a fifth of the company’s entire sales, according to Del Olmo. Umami Burger general manager Gary Kinsinger also claimed that many of the new customers that show up weekly are there specifically for this buzzworthy vegan burger. This rapid growth in both sales and target audience has happened in the span of less than a year, so it’s easy to see the Impossible Burger taking over even more of Umami’s sales.

The success of the Impossible Burger should also play into Umami’s expansion plans. Following an acquisition by SBE, the sit-down burger chain has been looking to go global with their brand. They plan to open 8-10 new locations per year in places like Japan, the Middle East, the UK, and Europe. While it’s resulted in the closure of a few domestic locations, overall, plans are accelerating, and the company has their new vegan patty to thank for that.

Kinsinger told Foodbeast that in every market they’ve put the burger in so far, the Impossible has done “very well,” as evidenced by the patty becoming a fifth of the chain’s revenue. Thus, as the chain’s aspirations and size continues to build, so should their innovation and spread of the Impossible Burger.

It’s a win-win for both companies in this regard. Umami is definitely getting a boost in sales, awareness, and customer base by utilizing a well-known and quality brand for their vegan and vegetarian options. On the other hand, Impossible Foods could see their product make its way out of the USA for the first time, a major step forward for the plant-based meat movement.

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Health Theme Parks What's New

Disney’s New ‘No Meatball Sub’ Is Made With The Impossible Burger

Disney has officially teamed up with Impossible Foods to develop a “No Meatball” Sub that’s proof that plant-based meat can act exactly like the real thing.

no meatball sub

Photo: Constantine Spyrou // Foodbeast

Found inside of the Paradise Garden Grill at Disney’s California Adventure, the simplistic sandwich utilizes Impossible’s vegan “bleeding” burger meat. However, instead of a medium rare patty, it’s transformed into juicy, beefy meatballs that are coated in marinara sauce and topped with real mozzarella. Disney also uses actual cheese and eggs to make their meatballs, so while the meal is vegetarian, it’s still a great example of what plant-based meat can be used for.

In a statement, Disney has confirmed to Foodbeast that the meatballs contain the Impossible Burger, marking a massive step forward for the plant-based meat purveyors. Impossible Foods has been doing well as of late, getting into dozens of restaurants around the country, including all locations of Fatburger and Wahlburgers. Teaming up with Disney, however, puts the plant-based purveyors on a lofty pedestal that the entire world can witness their innovation from.

And man, does this one stand out. Having sampled multiple variations of the Impossible Burger from differing restaurants, I can say with full confidence that the No Meatball Sub does the best job out of all of them at perfectly imitating the food it’s based off of. The meatballs had the exact same softness and tenderness as a love ballad. All of the flavors and seasonings lined up perfectly, and there was no savory aftertaste that I could detect (which hasn’t been the case with most other versions). To me, it’s the closest a vegan meat has ever gotten to the real deal.

Photo: Constantine Spyrou // Foodbeast

Those interested in sampling this Impossible meatball for themselves can purchase the No Meatball Sub during California Adventure’s Food & Wine Festival, which runs until April 12th. It costs $10.99, and comes with a side of kettle-cooked potato chips.

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Fast Food Health

Fatburger Launches The Plant-Based Impossible Burger In All Locations Nationwide

A few months ago, SoCal-based Fatburger began testing out the Impossible Burger in a few locations in Los Angeles. It looks like that test was a rousing success, as Silicon Valley’s bloody vegan patty will now be rolled out to all of Fatburger’s restaurants nationwide.

impossible burger

Photo courtesy of Fatburger

The nationwide rollout makes Fatburger the first publicly traded fast-casual brand to have all of their domestic locations selling the revolutionary vegan meat. Customers at Fatburger will be able to customize the Impossible Patty to their liking, with traditional toppings of lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, mustard, onion and pickle relish automatically coming with the burger.

According to Fatburger CEO Andy Wiederhorn, the Impossible Burger quickly became one of their best-selling items in the test market. The vegan patty is arguably the closest plant-based burger substitute out there, with an ingredient called heme giving it a texture, flavor, and juiciness akin to that of ground beef. It can even be cooked a bloody medium rare, if you wish.

Impossible Foods, creators of the vegan patty, have been seeing a lot of success in the fast-casual world as of late. On top of the Fatburger expansion, Wahlburgers recently picked up the burger as well. Mark Wahlberg’s family chain rolled it out to all of their nationwide locations earlier this year.

It’s incredible to see the swift growth of the Impossible Burger as environmentally-conscious and vegan customers search for alternatives to meat at the fast food and fast casual level. All that remains is to see where the patty will end up next.

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Celebrity Grub Fast Food Science Technology

Wahlburgers Launches ‘Bleeding’ Plant-Based Impossible Burger At Locations Nationwide

Last year, A&E reality TV show Wahlburgers did a special feature on the Impossible Burger. Named after the celebrity family-owned burger chain, the show featured chef Paul Wahlberg sampling the bleeding vegan patty for himself before sending a couple to his brother Mark to try as well. It appears to have been a hit for the acting family, as they’ve now incorporated the Impossible Burger into their menu.

wahlburgers

Photo courtesy of Wahlburgers // Impossible Foods

Paul Wahlberg’s version of the Impossible Burger consists of a quarter-pound patty, smoked cheddar, lettuce, caramelized onions, chili spiced tomatoes, and the chain’s signature Wahl sauce. It’s been on the menu in the Boston area since last fall, but is now expanding to include all participating locations nationwide, according to a press release.

Wahlberg says that he chose to put the Impossible Patty on the menu because to him, “it’s the best vegetarian burger out there.” The burger has captured the world’s attention, mainly because of how closely it can replicate a real burger’s juiciness and flavor. Impossible attributes that to “heme,” or legehmoglobin, a protein sourced from plants that makes the vegan patty stack up against the real deal.

Wahlburgers joins Umami Burger and Fatburger as influential chain restaurants that have picked up the Impossible Burger over the past year. With more big-name customers like these joining the ranks, it’s only a matter of time before Impossible Foods’s signature product ends up just about everywhere.