During a sabbatical in 2009, Stanford University Professor Dr. Patrick O. Brown decided to switch the course of his career to address the urgent problem of climate change. In particular, he wanted to make the global food system sustainable by recreating meat, fish and dairy foods, from plants, with a much lower carbon footprint than their animal counterparts. Pat brought together a team of top scientists to analyze meat at the molecular level and determine precisely why meat looks, cooks and tastes the way it does. Together, Impossible Foods’ scientists developed a world-class archive of proprietary research and technology to recreate the entire sensory experience of meat, dairy and fish using plants.
The company debuted its first product, Impossible™ Burger, in 2016; It updated its formulation in 2019, and launched its second product — Impossible™ Sausage Made From Plants — in 2020. It now plans to commercialize additional meat, fish and dairy products around the world in the future.
The company's flagship product, Impossible Burger, is made mostly of plant proteins (soy and potato), sunflower oil, coconut oil, and with heme (the “magic” ingredient that makes meat taste like meat). It cooks and tastes like ground beef from cows. Impossible Burger is sold at restaurants in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore and Macau. It’s available at thousands of restaurants, served as tacos, empanadas, meatballs, dumplings — and of course, the classic American burger. Impossible Burger is also available in select grocery stores in the United States.
Impossible Burger has as much bioavailable iron and protein as a comparable serving of ground beef from cows, with 0 mg cholesterol, 14 grams of total fat, 8 grams of saturated fat and 240 calories in a quarter-pound patty. It contains no animal hormones or antibiotics, and is kosher, halal and gluten-free certified. And because it’s made from plants, it uses 96% less land, 87% less water and 89% fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional beef from cows.
The company announced recetly a 85% spike in quarterly retail revenue year-over-year, according to data from market research and analytics company IRI. The plant-based meat company -- which closed a $500 million funding round in November 2021, raising total funding to more than $2 billion -- has significantly boosted its retail presence to more than 20,000 grocery stores and supermarkets, and in food service to about 40,000 restaurants. The Impossible cheeseburger ranked as the most-popular order, in terms of percentage increase, according to a GrubHub Inc. poll this year.