Over the weekend, plant-based food startup Impossible Foods added a new item to its menu: sausage.
As Impossible continues competing against newly public Beyond Meat, it’s branding itself as a “protein platform” — and, in spite of the haters, it seems to be working.
Just last month, Beyond Meat stock soared more than 250% in the hottest IPO of the year.
But Impossible is also a plant-based powerhouse: Last week, it raised $300m, and it plans to bring plant-based patties to 7.2k Burger King locations by the end of the year.
Impossible doesn’t think of itself as a burger business but as a protein platform — meaning it will eventually offer a variety of Impossible proteins.
Now that they’ve both made plant-based patties palatable to meat eaters, both Impossible and Beyond are focused on scaling their businesses — often, by partnering with gigantic fast food chains.
Beyond Meat has partnered with Carl’s Jr., TGI Fridays, and A&W, and Impossible has partnered with White Castle, Red Robin, and Burger King.
Partnerships have vaulted Impossible and Beyond to juicy valuations (of $2B and $4B, respectively) — but they’ve also angered plant-patty purists.
Critics argue that partnering with historically unhealthy fast food franchises undermines Impossible’s mission of eliminating the health and environmental problems of livestock in the food system.
But Impossible argues that it’s important to partner with fast food chains to make cheap plant-based alternative accessible around the country.