When the plant-based Impossible Burger made its supermarket debut in Southern California last week, it outsold ground beef in its first weekend on store shelves at a chain called Gelson’s. In fact, the product was the top-selling packaged item sold at the chain’s 27 stores. Now, customers on the East Coast will have the chance to buy raw Impossible Burger “meat” to cook at home, intended for use in anything from burgers to meatballs to chili.
A 12-ounce package of the product, priced at $8.99, will launch at 100 locations of Wegmans, a regional chain; the store will also serve the cooked burger in its prepared food section. The packaged food will also launch at two Fairway stores in Manhattan.
The Impossible Burger is already available in more than 17,000 restaurants, but Impossible Foods, the company that produces it, wants to make it ubiquitous everywhere. The company’s ultimate, wildly ambitious hope: to replace the animal-based food system in less than two decades. The burger, which uses an ingredient called heme, a molecule also found in blood, to make it taste and look as much like meat as possible. Burger King began offering its Whopper with Impossible meat earlier this year, and reported that the fast-food chain’s own staff couldn’t distinguish the burger from a regular Whopper.