“We want to make sure the Impossible Burger is accessible across all types of grocery stores, and that includes Sprouts,” said Impossible Foods’ president Dennis Woodside. “Sprouts is known for healthy, affordable ingredients and convenient store layout, and Sprouts shoppers have been asking for Impossible Burger for months.”
Healthy, accessible, convenient
The Impossible Burger made its retail debut in September 2019 at Gelson’s 27-unit chain where it became the No. 1 packaged item sold at the retailer one month later with reports of customers buying 10 packages at a time, according to the company.
This year, Impossible Foods has grown its retail footprint from 150 grocery stores in January to over 10,000 locations across 50 states. At one grocery store in Southern California, the Impossible Burger outsold all brands of ground beef from cows, and outsold the next most popular single product by 6X, said the company.
In addition to buying Impossible Burger at brick-and-mortar stores, consumers can also buy family-size quantities directly from Impossible Foods’ e-commerce site, which offers packages starting at $49.99 (plus tax).
Since the company’s founding in 2011, Impossible Foods has brought in approximately $1.5bn in funding from investors including Mirae Asset Global Investments, Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates, Google Ventures, Horizons Ventures, UBS, Viking Global Investors, Temasek, Sailing Capital, and Open Philanthropy Project.
With its most recent $200m Series G funding round led by new investor Coatue, with participation from existing investors Mirae Asset Global Investments and Temasek, along with new investor XN, Impossible Foods plans to expand its plant-based protein empire to include Impossible Pork, milk, steak, and other foods.
Plant-based foods during the pandemic
Consumers have become increasingly interested in plant-based foods, especially meat alternatives, during the post-panic buying phase of the pandemic, according to the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA). Plant-based meat sales grew 61%, 1.8x faster than animal-based meat, over the four weeks of post panic buying in April 2020.
The Impossible Burger will be merchandized in the frozen meat section of Sprouts stores in 12-ounce packages for $9.99.
Store placement for plant-based meat alternatives is a crucial element of brands success at retail, according to a study from earlier this year conducted by Kroger and PBFA, which found that plant-based meat sales increased by an average of 23% when sold in the meat department next to animal proteins.
“Impossible Burgers fit the unique and cutting-edge qualities today’s consumers are looking for, and we’re excited to make this product more accessible to more shoppers nationwide,” commented Sprouts chief fresh merchandising officer Scott Neal.