The money will be used to invest in fundamental research and innovation; expand the firm’s retail presence; and commercialize new products including Impossible Sausage and Impossible Pork, said founder and CEO Dr Pat Brown.
“Our mission is to replace the world’s most destructive technology — the use of animals in food production — by 2035. To do that, we need to double production every year, on average, for 15 years and double down on research and innovation.
“The market has its ups and downs, but the global demand for food is always there, and the urgency of our mission only grows. Our investors not only believe in our mission, but they also recognize an extraordinary opportunity to invest in the platform that will transform the global food system.”
In addition to global institutional investors, Impossible Foods’ new and existing individual investors include Jay Brown, Common, Kirk Cousins, Paul George, Peter Jackson, Jay-Z, Mindy Kaling, Trevor Noah, Alexis Ohanian, Kal Penn, Katy Perry, Questlove, Ruby Rose, Phil Rosenthal, Jaden Smith, Serena Williams, will.i.am, and Zedd.
Price cuts: ‘We want to make our product ubiquitous, super mainstream, super mass market’
While firms don’t typically drop prices when demand is surging, Impossible Foods recently dropped prices to foodservice distributors by an average of 15% in a move reflecting its greater economies of scale and its mission to make plant-based meat a more accessible/affordable choice, as well as a more ethical/sustainable choice, chief communications officer Rachel Konrad told FoodNavigator-USA.
“It’s true that a conventional company would increase prices on a very hot commodity product, and we’re doing the opposite. But we’re not a conventional company. We want to make our product ubiquitous, super mainstream, super mass market. Our goal is to transition the global food chain away from animal-based agriculture, and to do that you have to compete on price.
“Right now, even with the price drop, we’re at about the same price as organic grass fed ground beef, per pound, but it’s important for us to get to the same price as 80:20 conventional beef and this is just the first price cut you’ll be seeing.”
While Impossible Foods is currently in just 150 retail outlets vs 17,000 restaurants, it will be making some big announcements this year, said Konrad.
New products: ‘Our goal is to collapse the livestock industry’
Impossible Foods – which has a stated goal to “produce a full range of meats and dairy products for every cultural region in the world” – recently launched the Impossible Sausage, but is also working on other products, said Konrad.
“I can’t give you a specific product roadmap, but we started with beef, because unquestionably beef is #1 from an environmental perspective, followed by pork, which is the most ubiquitous animal meat in the world. But Pat Brown is also really concerned about how we’re strip mining the oceans, which is utterly unsustainable, so we’ve done a lot of prototyping around fish.”
As for dairy, she said: “Our goal is to collapse the livestock industry and that means going after every piece of consumer value that comes out of a cow.”
Impossible Foods – which quadrupled production in 2019 (it has a plant in Oakland, CA but also works with multiple co-manufacturing partners) – said it would announce additional manufacturing capacity later this year.