Impossible Foods cuts prices of soy-based meat for the second time in four weeks to make alternative meat affordable

Daniel Ren
·3-min read

Impossible Foods, the California-based producer of plant-based meat that counts Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing as an investor, has announced a 20 per cent price cut after achieving economies of scale.

An Impossible Burger patty will retail for US$5.49, while a 12-ounce burger will sell for US$6.99, according to the company, based in Redwood City, California.

The company is encouraging its network of 17,000 grocery stores, supermarkets and retailers in Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong to cut prices to “pass the savings to consumers as soon as possible”, Impossible Foods said.

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The discount is the second price cut in a month by the 10-year-old company, marking a huge stride in its efforts to make the soy-based food more affordable, and encourage more consumers to enjoy the nutritional benefits and taste of animal meat, without the health effects or environmental impact.

Impossible Foods' packed plant-based beef. Photo: Handout
Impossible Foods' packed plant-based beef. Photo: Handout

“Our plan is to reverse global warming and halt our planet’s extinction crisis by making the food system sustainable,” said Impossible Foods’ chief executive and founder Patrick Brown. “With economies of scale, we intend to keep lowering prices until we undercut those of ground beef from cows. Today’s price cut is merely our latest – not our last.”

Impossible Burger is available at stores under the Albertsons, Kroger, Publix, Safeway, Sprouts, Target, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Wegmans brands, and online platforms including Amazon Fresh, Walmart.com, Kroger.com, Farmstead and Imperfect Foods. Shelf prices may vary, depending on location and retailer, according to the company.

The company, which counts Li’s Horizons Ventures and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings as investors, cut prices worldwide by 15 per cent on January 6 for wholesalers that distribute to restaurants.

Still, the cheapest Impossible Burger patty was still significantly higher than low-fat and non-organic ground beef mince, Reuters said, citing data by the US Department of Agriculture.

Solina Chau of Horizons Venture, one of the early investors in Impossible Foods, stir-frying “meatballs” made from the company’s faux meat product. Photo: Handout
Solina Chau of Horizons Venture, one of the early investors in Impossible Foods, stir-frying “meatballs” made from the company’s faux meat product. Photo: Handout

Demand for plant-based meat products have risen since the Covid-19 pandemic, as abattoirs and meat-processing facilities shut around the world to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Sales in the United States ballooned more than 100-fold to 17,000 grocery stories, from a mere 150 outlets a year ago, Impossible Foods said, adding that the explosive growth came in tandem with a sixfold increase in production.

The biggest competitor to Impossible Foods in the US and China is Beyond Meat, which made its debut last April through a partnership with Starbucks across the coffee chain’s network in Chinese cities. The venture created three dishes made with the beef alternative.

Impossible Foods’ products are available in about 700 restaurants in Hong Kong. A China-based industry and ecosystem is “absolutely at the heart” of the company’s plans, Brown said in October, adding that he hoped to set up a manufacturing facility in the country and build a domestic supply chain for ingredients upon receiving regulatory approval.

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