Trader Joe’s is now selling the Impossible Burger as Impossible Foods sets its sights on dominating grocery and rendering animal meat obsolete

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Impossible Foods plans to be ‘accessible wherever Americans go grocery shopping.’ Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images
  • The Impossible Burger is rolling out in Trader Joe’s stores on Monday.
  • The pandemic has accelerated Impossible’s takeover of the grocery sector, and its plant-based meat product is now available at over 5,000 US grocery stores compared to 150 at the start of 2020.
  • Impossible isn’t done growing – its president, Dennis Woodside, said that the company plans to increase its retail presence by 50 times by the end of the year.
  • Although Impossible has been much slower to expand than its main rival, Beyond Burger, its recent successes in the grocery space show that the company remains dedicated to growing the plant-based meat market.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Impossible Burger hits Trader Joe’s shelves nationwide starting Monday, the company announced in a press release emailed to Business Insider.

At the start of 2020, the company’s 12-ounce package of plant-based “beef” grounds was only available at select local grocery chains, including Gelson’s Markets in California and Wegman’s and Fairway on the East Coast. Its grocery presence only comprised of 150 total stores.

That number has since increased to over 5,000 stores, largely thanks to major rollouts at Kroger and Kroger-owned chains and other regional superchains like H-E-B and Stop and Shop. And Impossible doesn’t plan to stop expanding until its product is everywhere.

“We plan to expand our retail presence 50X in 2020 alone and to make the Impossible Burger accessible wherever Americans go grocery shopping,” Impossible Foods’ president, Dennis Woodside, said in the press release. “We’re particularly excited about the launch of Impossible at Trader Joe’s, a beloved institution with die-hard fans and a company known particularly for its great meat, cheese, and wine selection.”

Demand for plant-based meat alternatives skyrocketed during the start of the pandemic as meat supply chains crumbled, creating the perfect environment for Impossible to make a major grocery push. There is also a growing awareness that meat production sites are hot spots for coronavirus infections as well as potential breeding grounds for new disease outbreaks.

Impossible has been much slower and more cautious to expand than its main rival, Beyond Meat. Beyond has been much more aggressive about partnering with fast-food chains and expanding its grocery presence, most recently partnering with Alibaba to make its Chinese retail debut.

In a 2019 interview with Business Insider, Impossible Foods’ CFO David Lee said that there’s plenty of room in the plant-based meat market for multiple players. Lee quoted Impossible Foods’ CEO Pat Brown, saying he expects plant-based meat to eventually become the new normal.

“Generations from now will look up at their grandmas and say, ‘I can’t believe you used to eat meat from an animal. How barbaric, how unnecessary,'” Lee said, quoting Brown.