In today's world, staying fit and eating healthy has become a concern for everyone. Millennials are now more focused on what they eat and how that food is sourced. Many have also shifted towards vegan food options. The preference towards the vegan option has been for many reasons, as it helps reduce carbon footprints, is animal friendly and is also a healthier option.
One such company that has come up with an alternative option is Impossible Food Pvt ltd. It is a US-based company started in 2011 by Patrick O. Brown with a vision to develop plant-based meat that tastes, looks and smells like real meat. The company aims to provide a meat alternative in the market that would be healthy and helpful for reducing the carbon footprint produced during the process of meat procurement. Impossible foods launched its first product in 2016: The Impossible Burger. This burger uses soy protein concentrate as a base and Heme that give the actual meat taste. The production of Impossible Burger uses 95% less land, 74% less water, and emits 87% fewer greenhouse gases than making a ground meat burger patty. The company claims its burger patty provides more protein and no cholesterol than a typical hamburger patty.
The technology and main ingredient in the Impossible Foods product was the Heme which makes the products almost identical to the real meat. Heme is a molecule that gives blood its red colour and helps carry oxygen in all living organisms. The company chose leghaemoglobin, naturally found in the roots of the soya plant; the company's R&D use the fermentation process, similar to the brewing process used in making beer, to make the Heme in large quantities. This new ingredient helped the company capture the Market share of companies selling meat-based products and converted many meat lovers towards their side.
The Michelin-starred restaurant Public, Operated by Brad Farmerie in 2017, used the Impossible food product in its menu. It was a hit, and many customers loved it compared to the other meat dishes. White Castle became the first fast-food chain to offer Impossible Burger at its outlets. In April 2019, Burger king also started testing the Impossible Whopper, and by August 2019, it was available in all US burger king outlets. In July 2020, around 2100 stores of Walmart had Impossible Foods products in the store. Impossible now have a different range of product like Impossible chicken nuggets, Impossible Sausages, Impossible Ground Beef, and Impossible Pork. The company is looking for expansion in terms of location and product category. It started its business in Hong Kong recently, and the R&D is now working on developing egg products & seafood products using plants as a base. Many companies have started adding Impossible Foods products to their menu, like Burger King, Starbucks, Koger, Disney, Little Caesars etc.
The choice of plant-based meat has been increasing in recent years, and more options are available in the market, with people accepting it as an alternative to traditional meat-based products. The future of plant-based meat looks promising and valuable, and the production of Plant-Based meat will also aid in environmental safety.
About the author,
Shivam Pathak, a student from the batch of 2022-24
brings forth the up-and-coming food choice of 'veganism' globally and its scope in the business world