- Impossible Foods is reducing prices to distributors by 15% on average on its foodservice products, according to a company release. The company said Monday the cost reduction is made possible by improved "manufacturing efficiencies and greater economies of scale," per the release.
- The news comes a week after Disney named the Impossible Burger the official plant-based burger of Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and Disney Cruise Line.
- "Our stated goal since the founding of the company has always been to drive down prices through economies of scale, reach price parity and then undercut the price of conventional ground beef from cows," CEO Patrick Brown said in the release.
A 15% price reduction is a competitive incentive for restaurants looking to capitalize on the plant-based trend without further eroding thin margins.
Restaurants can order the Impossible Burger directly from Impossible Foods at a minimum quantity of 15,000 pounds per order, or through a foodservice distributor for smaller quantities. Impossible also expanded its product lineup to include quarter-pound and third-pound Impossible Burger patties in addition to its 5-pound bulk package of Impossible Burger, which can be used to make hand-formed products such as meatballs or ground beef for tacos or meat sauce.
Under the new pricing, 15,000 to 25,000 pounds of the 5-pound brick product costs $8.00 per pound, or $160 per case. The quarter-pound and third-pound Impossible Burger patties both cost $8.50 per pound for orders of 15,000 to 25,000 pounds, or $85 and $90.61 per case, respectively. Beyond Meat does not list its foodservice pricing on its website, and did not respond to a request for comment before press time, so its unclear how competitive this pricing is compared to the rival plant-based meat manufacturer.
What is clear, however, is that Impossible is confident in its improved production capacity thanks to its collaboration with co-manufacturer OSI, which has driven record production month after month, a company spokesperson told Restaurant Dive.
"Impossible Foods has seen record production month after month thanks to the collaboration with our co-manufacturer, OSI," the spokesperson said via email. "Since coming on board last summer, OSI has continued to expand production of the Impossible Burger — now producing at multiple plants. We also continue to manufacture at our first production facility in Oakland, California."
Impossible's new partnership with Disney appears to be the fruit of these improvements, signaling a greater supply stability.
The deal comes just a few months after Brown told Reuters "it would be stupid" for Impossible to pursue a deal with McDonald's because of its inadequate supply — a statement the company later walked back, stating that it "would never blow off or disrespect a potential customer and any suggestion that we would do that now is complete nonsense."
Still, Brown's initial statement reflects the supply shortage Impossible suffered last year after partnering with Burger King, a move that more than doubled its restaurant footprint at the time and left both independent restaurants and major chains like White Castle and Red Robin in a lurch. The production issues were bad for brand perception and Impossible's restaurant count — during the shortage, some restaurants chose to partner with Beyond Meat instead to regain a steady supply of plant-based patties.
The timing of the Disney deal and the product price reductions, however, suggest that Impossible can withstand the demand of the new partnership without last year's hiccups. What remains to be seen is if the new price reduction for its products will drive an uptick in partnerships or lure other major chains like McDonald's away from Beyond Meat and other rival providers.