Impossible Foods is an innovative food tech company aiming to replace meat with plant-based alternatives. Their goal is to create 100% plant-based ingredients to make a burger patty that looks, cooks and tastes like ground beef. Alternatives to meat products have a positive impact on the environment by reducing the percentage of land used to produce livestock and growing feed. Livestock is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all transportation exhaust combined. [1, 2]
Interestingly, the company is not targeting vegetarians or vegans but instead is focused on meat eaters. This strategic plan focuses on a market that will have the biggest sway in the global shift towards a more environmentally conscious burger. Impossible knows that to change the world, they need to make a burger that everyone will love. The current imitation food items in the market may look like chicken or beef, but taste nothing like it. When meat eaters can’t tell the difference anymore and are content with the nutrition profile and bioavailability of the plant-based products, the product will be a real success.
Impossible Foods is taking advantage of the effects of climate change to successfully obtain funding (approx. $180M), to build their brand, bring on staff, develop a great product and market their product to the public.  They benefit from the proliferation of information available to the public on plant based diets and their benefit to the environment.
Early adopters include consumers who are educated to the benefits of eating a mainly plant based diet and are price insensitive. Increased knowledge and understanding of climate change and the desire to do good is driving these educated customers to an Impossible Burger.
The company’s start and success in New York and California has proven that customers who are aware of the environmental impact of meat are willing to try new alternatives. Impossible Foods is riding the wave of climate change information and they are getting an advantage because of all the climate change articles being published and paid for by other groups.
Impossible Foods is funded, staffed, product developed and launched in several restaurants. Now to become a significant player in this market, they must do more. One significant impediment for Impossible Foods is the Agriculture Industry. Livestock production contributes to 40% of global gross domestic product and employs 1.3 billion people.  Governments have little to no incentive to reduce their GPD or employment rates. Global governments need to see the environmental, financial, and employment opportunities available by transitioning to plant-based food products for human consumption. Impossible Foods should invest in an outreach program to convince government officials, as well as farmers and their lobbyists, that Impossible Foods is both good for the environment and good for the economy. The company must dedicate sufficient resources in this effort or risk the likelihood that the big Ag industry will stymie or crush their progress. Impossible Foods needs to demonstrate that the Agriculture Industry will maintain or grow jobs because farmers will still be needed to produce the plants required for Impossible Foods’ products. There are many examples of incumbents slowing down the progress of new industry entrants. One of the first available electric vehicles, the EV-1, is believed to have been crushed by big oil and the auto industry. Just this year, the egg industry was using unseemly tactics to delay the progress of Just Mayo, a company that developed mayonnaise without eggs. 
After Impossible Foods has successfully partnered with the agriculture industry they need to lobby congress to reduce subsidies on products that are harmful to the environment and/or redirect the subsidies to climate positive plants. Eliminating these traditional subsidies will ultimately raise the price of animal based foods and make an Impossible Burger more competitively priced.
Just making a great tasting burger is not good enough. Impossible Foods is a pioneer in the plant based food industry and to date is getting many positive reviews. However, to ultimately succeed they need to form alliances with what could be viewed as their biggest competition. They must strategically remove the friction associated with the incumbent agriculture industry and work with the government to realize their full potential and effect.
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- Impossible Foods. 2016.Impossible Foods. [ONLINE] Available at:http://impossiblefoods.com/faq/. [Accessed 02 November 2016].
“Producing the Impossible Burger requires a quarter of the water used to produce the same burger from a cow, 1/20th of the land and 1/8th of the greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, switching from a conventional burger made from cows to a quarter-pound Impossible Burger saves as much water as a 10-minute shower. It eliminates the greenhouse gases emitted by driving 18 miles in an average car. And it liberates 75 square feet of land for wildlife.”
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations;Ecosystems2012, DOI: 10.1007/s10021-011-9517-8.
- Crunchbase. 2016.Impossible Foods. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/impossible-foods#/entity. [Accessed 02 November 2016].
- Science & Space. 2016.New Study Shows the Major Environmental Impact of Meat Production | TIME.com. [ONLINE] Available at:http://science.time.com/2013/12/16/the-triple-whopper-environmental-impact-of-global-meat-production/. [Accessed 02 November 2016].
- Fox News. 2016.USDA says egg industry group inappropriately targeted ‘Just Mayo’ company | Fox News. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2016/10/07/usda-says-egg-indsutry-group-inappropriately-targeted-just-mayo-company/. [Accessed 02 November 2016].