Impossible Burger hits grocery stores on Friday

Can Impossible Foods beat other brands — like Beyond Meat and Tyson — in the war to dominate the alternative meat industry?

Impossible Foods
  • The Impossible Burger will be available in 27 Gelson's Markets stores in Southern California starting Sept. 20.
  • Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods sell plant-based burgers in restaurants, but only Beyond Meat sells products in grocery stores.
  • Tyson could begin to edge out these smaller companies with its unique meat product that contains plant and animal components, appealing to health-conscious "flexitarians."


Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have been battling to dominate the alternative meat industry, and now that battle is moving from restaurants to grocery stores.

The Impossible Burger will be available tomorrow in grocery stores for the first time, marking a new chapter in the company's battle against Beyond Meat to dominate the alternative meat industry. Starting September 20, the plant-based burger will be sold at 27 Gelson's Markets stores across Southern California, going for $8.99 per 12-ounce package, fresh or frozen.

But don't plan on stocking up on Impossible Foods' flagship product if you live in California: there's a 10-package-per-shopper limit.

Impossible Foods isn't the first or biggest company to offer plant-based burgers in grocery stores. In June, the rival (and more valuable company) Beyond Meat made its own grocery-store debut when it began offering its popular plant-based burger in stores like Whole Foods, Kroger, Safeway, Publix, Wegmans, Target, and Sprouts. What's more, other brands — like Whole Foods' own 365 Everyday Value label — have also beaten Impossible Foods to the punch.

But the plan to roll out the Impossible Burger to grocery stores has long been in the works, according to Impossible Foods CFO David Lee.

"Even three years ago, before we launched at our first restaurant, we thought about what was the right sequence to eventually reach retail," Lee told Forbes, adding that the company wanted roughly 90 percent of meat-eaters to be aware of the brand before moving to retail.

After Southern California, it's unclear where Impossible Foods will next choose to offer its retail product. But considering the company struggled to meet demand after recently teaming up with Burger King, it's likely that Impossible Foods will choose a measured rollout.

"We are continuing to try to be as available as possible," Lee told Forbes, adding that he predicts "future rapid increase in demand and future short-term scarcity."

Can Tyson beat Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods?

Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are currently the top players in the alternative meat industry, and it'll likely to stay that way in the near future, as the investment research firm CFRA noted:

"We forecast Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods will remain the fastest-growing players in the space over the next couple of years, thanks to demand from quick-service restaurants."

But Tyson, the world's second largest meat processor, could soon begin to dominate the game, not only with its size and deep pockets, but also by exploiting one potential problem with Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods: these two popular plant-based burgers, while good for the environment, probably aren't all that good for you.

Meanwhile, Tyson's new brand Raised & Rooted is making what seem to be relatively healthier meat products that use plant and animal products.

"Its blended beef and plant-based patties specifically target the 'flexitarian' demographic, who are defined as consumers who purchase both meat and meat alternatives," wrote CFRA's Arun Sundaram.

"This patty stands out from competition, not only because it's a blended meat and plant-based burger, but because it seems to be the healthiest option in the marketplace — it has a comparable amount of protein to traditional 80/20 beef burgers and other plant-based burgers, such as those offered by Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, but far less total fat and saturated fat. We think more and more consumers are looking at labels and realizing that many plant-based products are not as healthy as they initially thought, and this is where we think Tyson can stand out."

A still from the film "We Became Fragments" by Luisa Conlon , Lacy Roberts and Hanna Miller, part of the Global Oneness Project library.

Photo: Luisa Conlon , Lacy Roberts and Hanna Miller / Global Oneness Project
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Stories are at the heart of learning, writes Cleary Vaughan-Lee, Executive Director for the Global Oneness Project. They have always challenged us to think beyond ourselves, expanding our experience and revealing deep truths.
  • Vaughan-Lee explains 6 ways that storytelling can foster empathy and deliver powerful learning experiences.
  • Global Oneness Project is a free library of stories—containing short documentaries, photo essays, and essays—that each contain a companion lesson plan and learning activities for students so they can expand their experience of the world.
Keep reading Show less

The Universe Shouldn’t Exist, CERN Scientists Announce

BASE particle physicists have discovered a very precise way to examine antimatter.

The Veil Nebula. Credit: By Jschulman555 - Own work, Wikipedia Commons.
Surprising Science

Thank your lucky stars you’re alive. It’s truly a miracle of nature. This has nothing to do with spirituality or religion and everything to do with science. Life itself may not be the miracle. Although we haven’t found it elsewhere yet, our galaxy alone is so replete with Earth-like planets that, mathematically speaking, one of them must hold life, even if it’s just the microbial variety. Intelligent life may be another matter.

Keep reading Show less

Ashamed over my mental illness, I realized drawing might help me – and others – cope

Just before I turned 60, I discovered that sharing my story by drawing could be an effective way to both alleviate my symptoms and combat that stigma.

Photo by JJ Ying on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

I've lived much of my life with anxiety and depression, including the negative feelings – shame and self-doubt – that seduced me into believing the stigma around mental illness: that people knew I wasn't good enough; that they would avoid me because I was different or unstable; and that I had to find a way to make them like me.

Keep reading Show less

Sexual activity linked to higher cognitive function in older age

A joint study by two England universities explores the link between sex and cognitive function with some surprising differences in male and female outcomes in old age.

The results of this one-of-a-kind study suggest there are significant associations between sexual activity and number sequencing/word recall in men.
Image by Lightspring on Shutterstock
Mind & Brain
  • A joint study by the universities of Coventry and Oxford in England has linked sexual activity with higher cognitive abilities in older age.
  • The results of this study suggest there are significant associations between sexual activity and number sequencing/word recall in men. In women, however, there was a significant association between sexual activity in word recall alone - number sequencing was not impacted.
  • The differences in testosterone (the male sex hormone) and oxytocin (a predominantly female hormone) may factor into why the male cognitive level changes much more during sexual activity in older age.
Keep reading Show less
Scroll down to load more…