Plant-based company, Impossible Foods, says it’s struggling to keep up with the ‘scorching demand’ of its meatless products, following a 50 percent growth in sales since the launch of its new 2.0 burger in January.
‘People are going crazy about it’
Major chains such as White Castle and Red Robin have reportedly run out of the plant-based patty due to its popularity.
“I can’t believe how many people are going crazy over it,” Tricia Scanlon, a bartender at a Red Robin told New York Times.
“A lot of people have been asking for it, people that are vegetarians or vegans. Everybody who lives that lifestyle absolutely loves it.”
Speaking to Yahoo Finance about the shortage, a spokesperson for Impossible Foods said: “Yes, we are struggling to keep up with scorching demand for the Impossible Burger. The issue is not unique to any single region or chain; we are not prioritizing anyone, so the outages could in principle affect any of the 9,000 restaurants where the Impossible Burger is on [the] menu.
“The Impossible Whopper is currently available in five markets. We have worked closely with Impossible Foods over the last few months to plan for the launch of the Impossible Whopper and ensure that we are able to meet demand as it rolls out in our test markets and, eventually, nationwide.”
The company also said there are several ways to rectify shortages, including using some of the $300 million investment from global investors and ‘high-profile individuals’ to increase production, as well as increasing the number of employees at their base in Oakland.
Although Impossible Food declined to comment on the details of its manufacturing expansion, it did say it ‘will add more manufacturing capacity and is actively pursuing strategies for doing so’.
Impossible Foods itself consider its meatless patty to be plant-based rather than vegan.
This is because in 2017 a key ingredient – soy leghemoglobin (heme) – from the brand’s flagship item the Impossible Burger was fed to rats in order to test its safety. In excess of 180 rats were killed as a result of the testing.
CEO Pat Brown reacted to the controversy, publishing a statement titled The Agonizing Dilemma of Animal Testing.