To say that Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are friendly foes is an understatement. It seems like every day one of the two companies is making major money moves, scoring deals with retailers or invading fast food menus. They’ve avoided a full-scale showdown by carving out niches for themselves: Impossible joined forces with fast-food restaurants like Qdoba, Red Robin, White Castle, Subway, Burger King, and, soon, KFC. Beyond went on to populate the shelves and aisles of grocery stores like Whole Foods, Krogers, and Target. But the truce is off and these animal-friendly burgers are out for blood.
Impossible Burger is coming to grocery store shelves this Friday, stepping over the invisible line that kept the two brands from all-out war. Twenty-seven Gelson’s Markets in Southern California will have the product in stock, stating with the Gelson’s in Westfield Century City in Los Angeles.
The announcement was made today on Instagram where it encouraged followers to #CallYourGrandma and where, for weeks, the brand has asked followers to guess where the debut will be. Fans can join Impossible at Westfield Century City this Friday to celebrate the launch with Chrissy Teigen’s mother, who will be handing out samples. Impossible Burgers are also set to appear in North Eastern grocery stores; the specifics of that launch will be announced later this month.
Impossible’s signature ingredient heme’s lack of FDA approval had long stalled the company’s expansion, as it meant the Impossible “meat” could only ever be served cooked. Heme is what makes it possible for Impossible to create plant-based meat that bleeds like animal meat. But in early August the FDA came through with its approval, which officially kicked in on September 4th.
For a moment there, Beyond was gaining ground fast. Not only is it in stock at supermarkets like ShopRite, Giant, Safeway, Kroger, Publix, Sprouts, and Harris Teeter it’s also served up hot at TGI Fridays, burgerfi, Carl’s Jr., Del Taco, and Dunkin’. But Impossible had the Whopper win, which meant customers soon started looking to flip the Impossible Burger at home. And finally, they can.