Impossible Foods Could Face More Faux Meat Shortages, CFO Says

(Bloomberg) -- Impossible Foods Inc., maker of the eponymous soy-based burger, will probably have trouble keeping production ahead of demand, despite bouncing back from a major shortage over the summer.

“Absolutely there will be times when demand and supply won’t be perfectly synced,” Chief Financial Officer David Lee said in an interview. While the company is cutting prices by 15% for U.S. food-service distributors after a production capacity expansion, “you’re going to hear more and more how demand is out of sync with supply” as global appetite for its products deepens, he said.

The imitation beef product is now served in more than 17,000 restaurants in the U.S. and abroad, including more than 7,000 Burger King locations. In the past, the company has struggled to keep up with demand. As the national Burger King roll out was underway last year, more than 30% of the restaurants listed on its website were not carrying it, a Bloomberg survey found.

If Impossible succeeds in taking a big bite out of the massive global beef market, demand will be high enough that “there will be times when equilibrium is not achieved,” Lee said. “We’ll continue to race ahead and do the best that can be done.” Still, supply shortages may hamper its efforts to compete on price with the real thing.

Beyond Meat Inc., the company’s biggest competitor, has faced its own shortages, and regularly assures investors that capacity is no longer an issue. In last week’s earnings call, Chief Executive Officer Ethan Brown said the company was adding five more co-packers to its current six, and investing in its own internal production lines.

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