Impossible Foods Expands to Supply 777 More U.S. Grocery Stores

(Bloomberg) -- Impossible Foods Inc. will expand into 777 more grocery stores throughout the U.S. as Americans are doing more cooking at home.

Starting this week, the company’s plant-based meat substitutes will be available at Albertsons and Safeway locations in California and Nevada, every Wegmans along the East Coast, all Jewel-Osco stores in Chicago and Fairway Markets in the New York City region.

“We have to be able to go where the food consumers are going,” said Impossible Foods founder Patrick Brown.

Since its launch in 2016, the Impossible Burger has become one of the most popular meat imitators. It’s now found on Burger King menus and college campuses and in sports stadiums and Disney theme parks.

But Impossible Foods has had a slow roll-out in supermarkets. This means the pandemic, which has brought restaurants to a grinding halt while grocery has exploded, is likely to have hit it harder than some competitors, like Beyond Meat Inc., which has broader retail distribution.

Impossible Foods announced a $500 million fundraising round last month, which it said would allow it to “continue to thrive in a volatile macroeconomic environment, including the current Covid-19 pandemic.”

The unanticipated coronavirus disruption came just as Impossible Foods was ramping up production. It’s been less than a year since it signed a major manufacturing deal with OSI Group, one of the world’s largest food producers.

Dennis Woodside, Impossible Foods president, declined to comment on how the outbreak has affected the company’s Burger King sales. Despite uncertainty in the restaurant industry, he said, the company will still increase production, in part to supply supermarkets.

“That business will come back,” said Woodside. “Being in retail is important for us to reach more consumers.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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