Impossible Foods Lowers Grocery Store Prices Amid Pandemic-Fueled Retail Expansion

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  • Impossible Foods is cutting its suggested retail price for grocery stores by 20%.
  • The company is trying to achieve price parity with beef products, which still cost less than half of what Impossible charges for its meat substitutes.
  • The number of retailers carrying Impossible's products has increased by 113 times over the last year, fueled by changes in consumer behavior stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

Impossible Foods is slashing its suggested prices for U.S. grocery stores by 20%, pushing it closer to achieving price parity with the meat it's trying to replace.

The recommended retail prices for Impossible's meat-free burgers is now $5.49 for patties and $6.99 for a 12-ounce package. The price cuts make the meat alternatives cheaper than ever, but consumers will still be paying more than double for the Impossible Burger, based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's national beef retail report for the week ending Thursday.

Outside of the United States, double-digit price cuts for Impossible products are also being rolled out in grocery stores.

This marks the first time that the privately held start-up has lowered its retail prices, but the third time in the last year that the company has permanently discounted products. Restaurant distributors received price cuts in 2020 and again in January.

In the last year, the number of supermarkets carrying Impossible Foods' meat substitutes has increased by 113 times. It's also in a 47-location test at Costco Wholesale, which could result in even more stores carrying its products.

The coronavirus pandemic fueled new interest in meat substitutes, as more consumers turned to grocery stores for their food supply and Covid-19 outbreaks in meatpacking plants resulted in some shortages of meat products.

"Our plan was not to move this fast in retail last year until Covid hit," Impossible President Dennis Woodside said.

Impossible's production capabilities have increased sixfold since 2019, helping it meet all of that new demand. Woodside said the company's manufacturing has become more efficient as it runs its production lines more frequently and adds more shifts to its schedule. He also said that as Impossible Foods grows, so do its suppliers.

"They are able to pass along savings to us," he said.

Rival Beyond Meat has also been working toward cutting its prices as more competition enters the market. Last summer, it began selling frozen value packs of its meatless burger patties. Beyond's 10-pack had a suggested retail price of $15.99, or $6.40 per pound.

Shares of Beyond have risen 50% in the last year, giving the company a market value of $10.4 billion.

In addition to facing competition from other companies selling realistic meat alternatives, Impossible and Beyond could soon face price pressure from the makers of cell-based meat. Future Meat Technologies, an Israeli-based company, said Monday it has lowered the production cost of a cultured chicken breast to $7.50. So far, Singapore is the only country to approve the sale of lab-grown meat after granting permission to Eat Just in December.

"Ultimately, what we're all competing against is the 1-trillion pound industry, which is the current animal-based protein industry," Woodside said.

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