*A-listers like JAY-Z, Trevor Noah and Katy Perry are joining the plant-based burger bandwagon, as each have invested in Impossible Foods, joining previously announced investors Serena Williams, will.i.am and Questlove.
According to New York Daily News, the brand is best known for its Impossible Burger, “which is made with soy and potato protein, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and heme, or soy leghemoglobin — a molecule that makes meat taste like meat.” The burger started debuting at restaurants in 2016. Last month, Burger King announced plans to sell the Impossible Whopper at some restaurants in Miami; Columbus, Georgia; and Montgomery, Alabama, and chains like White Castle and Wahlburgers already sell versions of the Impossible Burger, the report states.
Interest in plant-based protein is on the rise and The Impossible Whopper is a way to “give somebody who wants to eat a burger every day, but doesn’t necessarily want to eat beef everyday, permission to come into the restaurants more frequently,” Chris Finazzo, president of Burger King North America, told CNN Business in April.
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McDonald’s is also testing the plant-based meat market, selling a vegan burger, the Big Vegan TS, in Germany, one of its top international locations. The patty for that burger is reportedly being made by Nestle.
“We have cracked the molecular code for meat and built an industry-leading intellectual property portfolio and brand,” David Lee, chief financial officer for Impossible Foods, said in a statement. “Our global financial partners are supporting a technology powerhouse that will transform the global food system.”
Impossible Foods has reportedly raised $300 million in a series E round, bringing its total funding to more than $750 million. According to Reuters, the eight-year-old company may now be valued at $2 billion.
“Impossible Foods has just brought in the largest fund-raising round for a plant-based meat company in history,” said Executive Director Bruce Friedrich of Good Food Institute, a nonprofit that promotes plant-based meat and other products.
“The success of Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat is proof that plant-based meat has arrived,” he added. “With these two companies now valued in the billions of dollars, it’s clear that the plant-based meat market is both hot and here to stay. Impossible and Beyond both have a vision of a meat market that puts healthier and more sustainable products in front of consumers.”