Unattainable Meals slashes grocery retailer costs amid pandemic-fueled retail growth

A customer picks up a packet of plant-based meat from Impossible Burger during the Impossible Foods Inc. grocery store launch at Gelson’s Markets in Los Angeles, California, United States on Friday, September 20, 2019.

Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Impossible Foods lowers recommended prices for U.S. grocery stores by 20%, bringing them closer to price par with the meat being replaced.

Impossible’s suggested retail prices for meat-free burgers are now $ 5.49 for patties and $ 6.99 for a 12-ounce package. The price cuts are making the meat alternatives cheaper than ever, but consumers will still be paying more than double for the Impossible Burger, based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s national beef retail report for the week ending February 4.

Outside of the US, double-digit price cuts for Impossible products are also being rolled out in grocery stores.

This is the first time the privately owned start-up has cut its retail prices, but the third time in the last year that the company has permanently discounted products. Restaurant traders received price cuts in 2020 and again in January.

Over the past year, the number of supermarkets selling Impossible Foods meat substitutes has increased 113 times. It’s also in a 47-site test at Costco Wholesale that could see even more retail stores stocking its products.

The coronavirus pandemic sparked renewed interest in meat substitutes as more consumers turned to grocery stores for their groceries, and Covid-19 outbreaks in meat packing operations resulted in some stocks of meat products.

“Our plan was not to move so fast in retail last year until Covid hit,” President Dennis Woodside said in an interview.

Impossible’s production capacity has increased sixfold since 2019 to meet the new demand. Woodside said the company’s manufacturing has become more efficient as it runs its production lines more frequently and adds more shifts to its schedule. He also said that as Impossible Foods grows, so do its suppliers.

“You can pass savings on to us,” he said.

Rival Beyond Meat has also worked to lower its prices as more competition comes into the market. Last summer it sold frozen packs of its meatless burger patties. Beyond’s shares are up 61% over the past year, giving the company a market value of $ 11.1 billion.

Impossible and Beyond could not only face competition from other companies selling realistic meat alternatives, it could also soon face price pressure from cell-based meat manufacturers. Future Meat Technologies, an Israel-based company, announced Monday that it had cut the cost of producing a cultured chicken breast to $ 7.50. Singapore is the only country so far to approve the sale of laboratory-grown meat after Eat Just was granted approval in December.

“Ultimately, we’re all competing with the £ 1 trillion industry, the current animal protein industry,” said Woodside.

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