Kelly Tyko

USA TODAY

Published 9:00 AM EDT Sep 19, 2019

It soon won’t be impossible to grill an Impossible Burger at home.

The plant-based meat patty, already on the menu at White Castle, Burger King, Red Robin and The Cheesecake Factory is making its grocery store debut Friday at California-based Gelson’s Markets.

Silicon Valley-based Impossible Foods, founded in 2011, said additional retailers will be announced later this month and plans for the bio-engineered meat to be available in grocery stores throughout the country by mid-2020.

The launch into grocery stores comes after three years in restaurants and less than two months after the Food and Drug Administration on July 31 approved the protein-based color additive Impossible Foods uses to make its burgers look and “bleed” like real meat. Its competitor Beyond Meat already sells its plant-based products in stores.

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A 12-ounce package of Impossible Burger will cost $8.99 at Gelson’s.

While the products are vegan-friendly, the growing demand has been among meat eaters, David Lee, the company’s chief financial officer, told USA TODAY, noting more than 90% of customers self-identify as meat eaters.

“I think there have been many products in the past that appeal to those who are plant-based,” Lee said. “But I think our growth is squarely in the hands of meat eaters who maybe had to compromise before.”

According to the Good Food Institute, refrigerated plant-based burger sales have surged 151 percent since 2018. The market is expected to keep growing with companies like Kellogg announcing future products.

“Impossible’s entry into retail will help expand and strengthen the plant-based meat market, giving consumers more choice and stimulating demand across the entire sector,” said Bruce Friedrich, executive director of the nonprofit, in a statement.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko


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