Vegan meat brand Impossible Foods announced the launch of its “New New” vegan Impossible Burger “2.0” today at the popular Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. It’s the first time the tech-heavy show has featured a food tech brand.
The Bay Area-based vegan meat manufacturer hinted to the product launch in recent Instagram posts leading up to the show, using the hashtag #Cheatonbeef.
In a post this morning it teased the burger again: “Introducing The NEW NEW Impossible™ Burger. Newer, Tastier and juicier than ever.”
The burger, which is slated to hit supermarkets this year, has an updated recipe for the first time since launching in 2016. According to Impossible Foods, the “Impossible Burger 2.0” contains as much iron and protein as ground beef. The new burger is expected to be more versatile than the original, which the company says performs best as burgers. The new iteration can be used in place of ground beef in products such as meatballs, loafs, tacos, and lasagnas. It’s also gluten-free. The New York-based chain fresh&co announced the launch of vegan Impossible meatballs in a new pho dish.
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The original Impossible Burger gets its meaty-like texture from heme, an ingredient sourced from genetically modified soybeans. The ingredient has been a source of controversy for the brand for being both derived from GMO soybeans and for submitting to animal testing to prove the safety of the novel ingredient. According to the animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), more than 180 rats were experimented on and killed to prove the burger’s safety.
“Impossible Foods, the maker of the Impossible Burger, decided voluntarily to test one of its burger ingredients—soy leghemoglobin—by feeding it to a total of 188 rats in three separate tests, killing them, and cutting them up, none of which it has ever been required to do in order to market its products,” PETA noted last July. “And the company did it after disregarding advice from a PETA scientist who said that there’s no need to hurt and kill animals to test its burger.”
The Bill Gates-backed company has raised nearly $400 million to increase production and expand its reach. The Impossible Burger became the first vegan meaty-like patty sold at fast food chain White Castle last year. It was also the first vegan burger to be served on international Air New Zealand flights. It’s found in a number of restaurant chains across the country including Fatburger, Wahlburgers, and Dave & Buster’s. The new burger is also expected to land in supermarkets later this year.
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