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Impossible Burgers will start selling in grocery stores for the first time this week

Impossible Burgers will hit grocery shelves for the first time on Friday.

Posted: Sep 19, 2019 1:47 PM
Updated: Sep 19, 2019 5:15 PM

Impossible Burgers will hit grocery shelves for the first time on Friday.

The soy-based meat substitute will be sold at all 27 Gelson's Markets locations in Southern California, Impossible said Thursday. Later this month, the product will become available in grocery stores on the East Coast.

Impossible is launching its retail product as the meatless meat sector starts to become more crowded. Plant-based protein company Beyond Meat sells burger patties, sausages, crumbles and grounds at Safeway, Kroger, Shop Rite and other grocery stores. Kellogg and Nestle both have plant-based burger patties in the works. Kroger, which is testing out a plant-based section in the meat aisle of some stores, recently announced that it is launching a line of meatless products, including meatless burger patties and deli slices, this fall. Even meat processors like Tyson and Smithfield Foods are jumping on the trend.

It's no surprise that big food companies and retail chains are entering the sector.

Barclays predicts the alternative meat sector could reach about $140 billion in sales over the next decade, capturing about 10% of the global meat industry.

US retail sales of plant-based foods have grown 11% in the past year, according to a July report from trade group Plant Based Foods Association and the Good Food Institute, a nonprofit that supports plant-based businesses. Refrigerated plant-based burger patties, which have spiked 151% since 2018, have helped drive that growth, GFI noted.

For Impossible, it was important to launch in restaurants before hitting grocery stores, CFO David Lee told CNN Business. The Impossible Burger debuted three years ago at Momofuku Nishi, a high-end restaurant in New York City owned by chef David Chang.

"We wanted the benefit of building a consumer movement in the hands of professional chefs before we began to serve home chefs," Lee said.

Today, the Impossible Burger is served at over 17,000 restaurants, including Burger King and White Castle.

Impossible is hoping that the restaurant launches have made customers familiar enough with the product to reach for it in a grocery store. Gelson's will also offer promotions to help draw attention to the product, like free samples and cooking demos, at some stores starting in October.

Now that the company is finally making its product directly available to shoppers, it's moving slowly. Impossible wants to "test and learn before we fully commit to our rollout nationwide," Lee said. "We want to learn how to best create the same degree of interest that we've seen in food service in a retail environment."

Impossible plans to use insights from Gelson's and from market researchers IRI and Nielsen to learn about how customers interact with the product, and figure out the best way to present it to shoppers in stores. It plans to make the Impossible Burger available in retail stores nationwide by the middle of next year.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 752108

Reported Deaths: 13816
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1033831790
Lake558431013
Allen41736693
St. Joseph37007565
Hamilton36617417
Elkhart29425461
Tippecanoe22938228
Vanderburgh22565400
Porter19369327
Johnson18486389
Hendricks17696317
Clark13233195
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Monroe12226176
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Warrick7864156
Floyd7815180
Grant7248179
Wayne7164201
Boone6979103
Morgan6768141
Dubois6224118
Marshall6214116
Cass6024110
Henry5903110
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Noble581688
Jackson509476
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Jay201032
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Martin91815
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1109697

Reported Deaths: 20213
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1289521469
Cuyahoga1158802216
Hamilton814201251
Montgomery525861049
Summit484551006
Lucas43384824
Butler39098606
Stark33355930
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Warren24612305
Mahoning22388602
Lake21219389
Clermont20138253
Delaware18892136
Licking16671225
Fairfield16589204
Trumbull16560483
Medina15618273
Greene15292248
Clark14244306
Wood13296200
Portage13254216
Allen11919239
Richland11611211
Miami10857225
Wayne9153225
Columbiana9039230
Muskingum8909135
Pickaway8664122
Tuscarawas8654251
Marion8649139
Erie8058165
Ashtabula7171179
Hancock6999133
Ross6948163
Geauga6850151
Scioto6540106
Belmont6159174
Union585049
Lawrence5741102
Jefferson5683159
Huron5554122
Sandusky5444126
Darke5420129
Seneca5350128
Washington5321109
Athens524460
Auglaize502487
Mercer487785
Shelby477095
Knox4573112
Madison444566
Ashland435997
Putnam4336104
Defiance432399
Fulton432274
Crawford4046110
Brown402761
Logan387678
Preble3859105
Clinton379266
Ottawa373581
Highland360266
Williams348578
Champaign344959
Guernsey325254
Jackson318454
Perry297350
Morrow291940
Fayette285750
Hardin275765
Henry273867
Holmes2703101
Coshocton269360
Van Wert247264
Adams243156
Pike242835
Gallia240850
Wyandot234756
Hocking220663
Carroll197548
Paulding176642
Meigs148540
Monroe136345
Noble136239
Harrison114138
Morgan110124
Vinton85717
Unassigned03
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