At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month, Impossible Foods moved beyond the beef market, launching new plant protein products to compete with pork and sausage.
Impossible Sausage, which is made from the California-based company’s Impossible Pork, will roll out first as a breakfast sandwich at Burger King locations.
“Pork is arguably one of the most ubiquitous forms of protein in the incumbent industry,” said David Lee, the chief financial officer at Impossible Foods, in a media release. “We believe that it may be the most commonly served animal for food globally. Our mission at Impossible Foods has begun here in the U.S., and we’re in parts of Asia, but it’s truly global. We wanted to make sure that we launched platform products that can be enjoyed in every part of the world and could be turned into whatever cuisine is relevant for the culture it’s being served in.”
The company is also making a pork-alternative product that can be used in dumplings or spring rolls. The media release also notes the large losses to China’s pig herd due to African swine fever.
Impossible Foods frequently cites environmental concerns in its marketing efforts, triggering protests of inaccurate information from livestock producers.
The company is also promoting its latest products as a healthier option than pork. Drovers Daily reports that Impossible Pork has a similar calorie count and less fat than lean ground pork from Smithfield. But Impossible Pork has 420 milligrams of sodium versus 70 milligrams from Smithfield, Drovers adds.
Impossible Foods’ recipes include heme, an iron molecule found within meat. Pat Brown, chief executive and founder of Impossible Foods, found a way to reproduce the molecule so it could be included in the company’s plant proteins. The company pulls the heme from soy plant roots, inserts the DNA into yeast and ferments it.
Impossible Foods released its Impossible Burger in 2016. The release states that the new products are “the next step in the company’s longer-term goal to replace animal protein with plant-based protein — something that Brown has said that he wants to accomplish by 2035.”
Impossible Foods’ website notes the company also wants to replace dairy and fish products.