The primary rival of Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, released a statement that it will begin selling their plant-based burger in grocery stores starting September 2019 after the Food and Drug Administration released approval of their essential coloring ingredient.
FDA said that it has decided to clear the use of eghemoglobin, also known as heme, as a color additive, making way for the Impossible Foods to commence selling its products in supermarkets soon.
Impossible Foods genetically creates yeast to produce heme, the iron-containing molecule that gives meat its unique flavor and scent.
Going back to 2017, the FDA reported a concern on the safety of heme as humans have not consumed it before. Last year, soy leghemoglobin was deemed generally recognized as safe. According to Dana Wagner, “We’ve been engaging with the FDA for five years to ensure that we are completely compliant with all food-safety regulations — for the Impossible Burger and the company’s future products and sales channels.” Wagner is the Impossible Foods chief legal officer.
Impossible Foods is currently only allowed to sell in restaurants. Though it began catering to high-end restaurants, the company also provides its meatless plant-based burgers to fast-food chains like Burger King and White Castle.
Its publicly traded competitor Beyond Meat sold $34.1 million worth of goods in shops during the second quarter. This amount is equivalent to more than half of Beyond Meat’s total earnings for the quarter. More people have been leaning toward lessening their meat intake. Last 2018, the sales of meat substitutes in grocery stores reached $893 million.
A week earlier, Impossible Foods has announced that they have signed a manufacturing deal with OSI Group, which is a massive meat supplier for fast-food chains. The agreement allows the company to maximize and extends its production capabilities to meet the upcoming boost in demand for the Impossible Burger.