The plant-based meat startup that Google tried to buy for $200 million isn't stopping at burgers

A startup out of Silicon Valley claims to have created a plant-based burger that smells, tastes, and even bleeds like meat that comes from a cow. Now Impossible Foods has its sights set beyond burgers.

A spokesperson for the company tells Tech Insider the methods it developed for making an unmistakably meaty burger will enable it to create similarly authentic steak, bacon, fish, chicken, milk and cheese.

“The methods we’re developing will enable us to make any of the foods … that we currently use animals to produce,” the spokesperson says.

Obviously, Impossible Foods isn’t the first to make plant-based burgers and dogs, but traditional veggie burgers often resemble pan-fried Frisbees more closely than beef. Impossible Foods wants to raise the bar.

“The cow is not going to get any better at making a burger, but we will,” the spokesperson says.

Veggie burger black beanFlickr/lara604This black bean burger looks delicious, but it’s not fooling anyone.

There’s not a whole lot known about how the company’s burger comes together, but we know it contains a secret ingredient: heme. The iron-packed molecule gives meat its distinct flavour and aroma. It’s possible this will be used in future products to craft equally delicious poultry, fish, and dairy products in the future.

The company couldn’t pick a better time to expand. The meat substitute market is expected to pass $5 billion by 2020, and more Americans are indulging in vegetarian and vegan products than ever.

While only 7% of the US population describe themselves as vegan, over a quarter of Americans said they cut back on meat in last the 12 months, according to a survey published in the Nutrition Business Journal in 2015.

By focusing on plant-based foods that would fool even the most ardent meat-lovers, Impossible Foods could grab a significant amount of these consumers.

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