Impossible Foods to Roll Out Plant-Based Steak

Impossible Foods, one of the leading companies in the plant-based market, isn't only going to sell its popular veggie-burger. Instead, the company is also working on developing a plant-based steak product, according to a recent interview with Impossible Foods' CEO Patrick Brown.

Brown said that a veggie steak that even meateaters love could be "the most impactful thing" the company does.

"[Steak] has huge symbolic value,” said Brown to "The Spoon." "If we can make an awesomely delicious world-class steak ... that will be very disruptive not just to the beef industry, but to other sectors of the meat industry."

However, developing a steak formula isn't easy. A steak marbling and texture is difficult to replicate without using any animal products at all.

Just last week, Impossible Foods announced that its Impossible Burger will have a new recipe that is gluten-free after the company decided to switch out the wheat protein for a soy protein concentrate. The new patty also has no animal hormones or antibiotics either, along with less salt. The new burger patty also has the consistency to be used as ground meat now, meaning it has multiple applications besides just being a veggie burger.

While Impossible Foods is experimenting with new products, it's Impossible Burger has become one of the most popular veggie burgers out there. It's vegan, yet it bleeds like a real burger. The company has focused on the restaurant market and White Castle now serves the Impossible Slider for $1.99.

The company's mission to offer an alternative to meat products, as it says on its website "using animals to make meat is a prehistoric and destructive technology."

Read more about Impossible Foods’ mission to launch a steak product at “Food Dive” now.

But the higher cost of plant-based burgers could be detouring consumers, especially meat eaters from selecting them as their protein option.

Impossible Foods' rival Beyond Burger has focused on retail and sells its plant-based burger for $5.99 for two patties at grocery stores. This is more than half the price for real beef burgers.

But Beyond Meat, which recently went public, has more of an expansive product line, which includes "chicken" strips, "beef" crumble, and "sausage"– all made out of plants, non-GMO soy, and pea protein.

We recently sat down with Ethan Brown, the CEO of Beyond Meat to discuss why plant-based foods have become so popular. Listen to the episode of The Barron Report below where Host Paul Barron talks to Brown about the future of the plant-based market and Beyond Meat's role in the movement.

Plant-based Meat Gets Pushback From Missouri and France

As more consumers gravitate to plant-based diets, multiple vegan companies have emerged to provide more options that fit into these consumers' lifestyle.

While Beyond Meat just filed an IPO, this plant-based burger company, along with others in the market appear to be facing legal challenges from the state of Missouri and the country France.

"In France, you can now be fined 300,000 euros (about $343,000) if you “use ‘steak,’ ‘sausage,’ or any other meat term to describe products that are not partly or wholly made up of meat,” BBC reports. This rule also applies to dairy alternatives," writes "Fortune."

Even using the a term before steak like "soy steak" isn't allowed.

Missouri passed similar legislation this year over the legal term of meat.

"Missouri lawmakers earlier this year banned food marketers from marketing a product as meat if it’s not made of livestock or poultry. The fine for violations can run as high as $1,000, and you can end up incarcerated in a penitentiary," writes "Fortune."

But as "Fortune" points out– why isn't peanut butter forced to adhere to these types of laws That's because some meat companies are declaring war on plant-based meat.

Missouri Cattlemen’s Association pushed for the law and then in France, a cattle rancher sponsored the bill.

While some are trying to halt the plant-based companies’ growth, others are jumping on the veggie meat bandwagon.

Tyson Foods invested in Beyond Meat back in 2017 and then in Memphis Meats, a lab-created meat company.

“We continue to invest significantly in our traditional meat business, but also believe in exploring additional opportunities for growth that give consumers more choices," said Justin Whitmore, executive vice president corporate strategy and chief sustainability officer of Tyson Foods when the company invested in Memphis Meats.

Cargill also invested in Memphis Meats saying it was a move "all about sustainability."

Read more about these laws barring plant-based products from using the term meat at “Fortune” now.

Will more laws like this arise? And how will Beyond Meat respond?

We recently covered Beyond Meat's massive growth and the company's decision to go public on an episode of The Barron Report. Watch the video below to see how this company's Wall Street move will impact the plant-based industry.