Impossible Foods has reduced the price of its plant-based Impossible Burger to better compete with beef. The Californian company aims to make achieve price parity between its vegan meat and traditional 80:20 beef products.
According to Reuters, Impossible Foods just announced an average 15 percent reduction in the price of products sold to U.S. distributors. On average, plant-based meat is more expensive than traditional animal products at fast-food restaurants. This limits the accessibility and popularity of more sustainable alternatives such as Impossible Food’s vegan beef.
“We are asking our distributors to pass along the price cuts that average around 15% to restaurants,” said Impossible Foods President Dennis Woodside in a statement.
Demand for the Impossible Burger is growing rapidly. Reducing the price of a product during a period of increased demand is fairly uncommon. However, the ultimate goal of Impossible Foods is price parity between plant-based meat and traditional meat. Chief communications officer Rachel Konrad explained this decision to FoodNavigator-USA.
“It’s true that a conventional company would increase prices on a very hot commodity product, and we’re doing the opposite. But we’re not a conventional company,” said Konrad. “Our goal is to transition the global food chain away from animal-based agriculture and to do that you have to compete on price.”
Vegan Price Parity
Liz Specht Ph.D., a senior scientist at the Good Food Institute (GFI), believes that price parity between plant-based and traditional beef is inevitable. In a post on GFI’s website, she explained: “Industrial animal agriculture has been operating and optimizing at a global scale for decades.”
“Yet it is still inherently more efficient to make meat directly from plants,” she continued. “It’s all but inevitable that the plant-based meat industry will eventually be cost-competitive with conventional meat.”
Supply and demand dictates the price of products such as the Impossible Burger. When plant-based food producers have a larger share of the overall meat marketplace, the cost of production and the cost of purchase will fall. Driving down the price of plant-based alternatives is part of Impossible Foods’ aim to replace animals in the food system.
“We’re at about the same price as organic grass-fed ground beef, per pound,” said Konrad. “But it’s important for us to get to the same price as 80:20 conventional beef and this is just the first price cut you’ll be seeing.”