EMAILED ON August 9, 2019 BY Lindsey Quinn

BK unveils the Impossible Whopper, putting Impossible Foods in a pickle

This week, Burger King rolled out its “Impossible Whopper” — a meatless Whopper-alternative via startup Impossible Foods — in 7k locations nationwide. 

So far, the plant-based patty has been a huge hit for BK, boosting traffic by 18% when it debuted regionally back in April. 

But, in the race to keep up with heavily funded competitor Beyond Meat, Impossible may have bitten off more than they can chew: Almost immediately, customers reported shortages in around 300 locations.

It’s a tale of two Browns

Launched by biochemist Pat Brown in 2011, Impossible has raised nearly $700m to bring its trademark “bleeding” veggie burgers to the mainstream.

Beyond Meat has beaten Impossible to market in more ways than one: Founded in 2009 by Ethan Brown (no relation to Pat Brown), Beyond went public in May at a $1.5B valuation — despite raising just a sixth of the venture money. 

Beyond’s products are also already in grocery stores around the country, while Impossible only just received FDA approval and won’t hit aisles until September.

Now, it’s a race to dominate the restaurant biz

Impossible has inked partnerships with White Castle, Red Robin, Qdoba, and Burger King, while Beyond meat has contracts with Dunkin’, TGI Friday’s, Carl’s Jr. — and now Subway (via a meat(less)ball sub, the Beyond Meatball Marinara). 

And if Impossible can’t deliver on its plant-based promise — it opens the door for Beyond to swoop its customers.