Meatless burger startup Impossible Foods and major food processor OSI Group are poised to continue on their path toward financial success even in the face of a massive downturn in the global economy. As the younger generation continues to seek alternatives to traditional food sources such as beef, pork, and chicken, new research, new funding, and a vision for a healthy future spur this partnership forward.
OSI Group and Impossible Foods Secure Partnership
In April 2019, Impossible Foods continued to expand its product placement through a partnership with Burger King that brought its meatless patties to over 7,000 restaurants nationwide. Faced with a sudden increase in demand, Impossible Foods struggled to fill orders while maintaining a focus on research for new product development. The answer to the problem came in the form of partnering up with OSI Group, the operator of massive food processing plants around the world. This allowed Impossible Foods to continue to meet surges in demand without sacrificing quality or turning all of its home office employees into factory workers.
Demand for Meatless Burgers Soars as Supply Increased
Even as Impossible Foods reaped the rewards of its successful fast food rollout, its major competitor, Beyond Meat, further fueled the love for everything plant-based as it went public. 2019 turned into a golden era for the alternative food businesses as larger segments of the population tested out the new burgers and discovered that grilling in the backyard did not require red meat to be tasty. The impossible Burger saw increases in demand in the double digits. Meanwhile, OSI Group lost no production in its Mid-West facilities as the company was able to shift production time from beef to the newer meatless product.
Why the Global Demand for Meatless Burgers Now?
Just before the headlines were flooded with the global pandemic, a widespread infection of China’s pig population with African Swine Flu was reported. As the largest pork producer in the world, pork prices were prepared to skyrocket in European and American supermarkets for the 2020 year, if pork was exported from those geographies to China in order to meet consumer demand. Every year reports of e-coli, bird flu, and other food contamination grab the average consumer’s attention. Meanwhile, those supporting a more eco-conscious way of feeding the world have determined that turning plants into meat-substitutes is far less toxic to our environment. Ultimately, shoppers looking for a safer, competitively priced, and greener option for their meals are grabbing more and more meatless options for the dinner table.
Fresh Infusion of Cash Provides a Buffer Against Uncertain Economy
In the early days of 2020, the whisperings of a pandemic closing down China and many European nations began to filter through the media. Focused on future growth, Impossible Foods took vital steps to ensure that the fledgling food manufacturer could weather the impending economic storm. The company worked quickly to secure an additional $500 million in further investment funding, bringing its total investments to $1.3 billion since it was founded, and guaranteeing it could continue to produce and distribute its meatless burger during the crisis. Before the federal government determined which businesses would be considered essential, OSI Group and Impossible Foods were positioned to reap the rewards of an entire nation seeking variety when faced with cooking at home for an extended period.
Impossible Foods and OSI Group are Positioned for Future Success Even in the Aftermath of COVID-19
Once the storm clouds recede, what else is on the horizon for this new segment of the food industry? Impossible Foods earmarked a significant portion of its investment funds for research as consumers around the globe begin to look for better alternatives to other animal-based proteins such as fish, pork, and poultry. Impossible Foods will also want to rapidly expand its product line as the public will be hypersensitive to illnesses caused by food-borne contaminants. Plant-based and processed foods like the meatless burger can reduce the chances of dangerous bacteria reaching the consumer’s table.
The processing power that OSI Group maintains combined with the cutting-edge food technology brought to the table by Impossible Foods leaves them both ready to meet a surge in demand while the world recovers from the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Combined with the waning interest in traditional fast food choices like fried beef burgers, Impossible Foods can anticipate continual growth, a profitable first public offering, and a future bright with promise with partner OSI Group by its side.