In this file:
· The other fake meat: Impossible Foods unveils pork, sausage
… The company tweaked the ingredients to mimic pork’s springy texture and mild flavor. For the sausage it added spices. Impossible Pork has 220 calories in a four-ounce serving. That’s not much less than a serving of Smithfield 80% lean ground pork, which has 260 calories. Smithfield’s animal-derived pork has more total fat, at 20 grams, than Impossible Pork, which has 13 grams. But Impossible Pork has far more sodium, at 420 milligrams. Smithfield has 70 milligrams…
· There's a pork shortage, and Impossible Foods is launching plant-based sausage
… Impossible is showcasing its new plant-based pork product in a variety of Asian dishes, including dumplings, noodles, dim sum and bao sandwiches. Impossible's interest in Asia preceded the recent swine flu outbreak, which drove regional pork prices up dramatically and halved China's pig herd, by some estimates…
· NYT: Impossible Dumplings and Beyond Buns: Will China Buy Fake Meat?
... “If I were on the board, I’d look at the C.E.O. and say, ‘You’re crazy,’” said Jeremy Haft, an expert on Chinese trade…
The other fake meat: Impossible Foods unveils pork, sausage
By Dee-Ann Durbin, Associated Press
Jan 6, 2019
After a big year for its plant-based burger, Impossible Foods has something new on its plate.
The California-based company unveiled Impossible Pork and Impossible Sausage on Monday evening at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas.
It’s Impossible Food’s first foray beyond fake beef. The Impossible Burger, which went on sale in 2016, has been a key player in the growing category of vegan meats. Like the burger, Impossible Food’s pork and sausage are made from soy but mimic the taste and texture of ground meat.
Impossible Pork will be rolled out to restaurants first. The company isn’t yet saying when it will come to groceries. Impossible Foods only recently began selling its burgers in grocery stores, although they’re available at more than 17,000 restaurants in the U.S., Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau.
Burger King will give consumers their first taste of Impossible Sausage. Later this month, 139 Burger King restaurants in five U.S. cities will offer the Impossible Croissan’wich, made with plant-based sausage coupled with the traditional egg and cheese. Burger King did a similar test of the Impossible Whopper last year before expanding sales nationwide.
The pork products and the Impossible Burger are made in a similar way. Impossible Foods gets heme — the protein that gives meat its flavor and texture — from soy leghemoglobin, which is found in the roots of soy plants. To make heme in high volume, it inserts the DNA from soy into yeast and ferments it. That mixture is then combined with other ingredients, like coconut oil.
The company tweaked the ingredients to mimic pork’s springy texture and mild flavor. For the sausage it added spices.
Impossible Pork has 220 calories in a four-ounce serving. That’s not much less than a serving of Smithfield 80% lean ground pork, which has 260 calories. Smithfield’s animal-derived pork has more total fat, at 20 grams, than Impossible Pork, which has 13 grams. But Impossible Pork has far more sodium, at 420 milligrams. Smithfield has 70 milligrams.
But health concerns are only part of the reason consumers are eating more plant-based meats. Animal welfare and environmental concerns are also a factor. Nearly 1.5 billion pigs are killed for food each year, a number that has tripled in the last 50 years, according to the World Economic Forum. Raising those pigs depletes natural resources and increases greenhouse gas emissions.
“Everything that we’re doing is trying to avert the biggest threat that the world is facing,” Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown told The Associated Press.
Brown said the company decided pork should be its next product because customers were frequently requesting it. Impossible Foods started working on the new products about 18 months ago and accelerated development in the second half of 2019.
Brown said ground pork is also critical to meeting the company’s international expansion goals. While Americans eat more beef and chicken, pork is the most widely consumed meat worldwide, according to the National Pork Board. Chinese consumers eat more than 88 pounds (40 kilograms) of pork per year, compared to 65 pounds (30 kilograms) for Americans.
Brown said he believes a product like Impossible Pork is critical in China, which has limited arable land and relies heavily on imported meat. Last year, Chinese pork prices surged after African swine fever wiped out millions of pigs.
Brown said Impossible Foods is talking to Chinese regulators and potential partners that could make Impossible Pork — as well as plant-based burgers — in China.
“This is a huge opportunity for China in terms of its food security,” Brown said.
Impossible Foods is also waiting for approval from European regulators to sell its products there...
There's a pork shortage, and Impossible Foods is launching plant-based sausage
By Danielle Wiener-Bronner, CNN Business
via KCTV News (KS) - Jan 6, 2020
(CNN) -- Impossible Foods, known for its meatless burgers, is launching plant-based pork.
Impossible Pork debuts at tech conference CES in Las Vegas this week, and attendees will be able to taste the new product. Like the Impossible Burger, the plant-based pork is made with soy protein and is designed to look, taste and cook like real meat.
Others will be able to try a sausage version of the product when it arrives at 139 Burger King restaurants later this month. Some locations in Georgia, Michigan, Illinois, New Mexico and Alabama will serve a croissant breakfast sandwich featuring the Impossible Sausage for a limited time.
Much of the hype surrounding plant-based meat has been focused on beef substitutes.
But pork could be the next big thing because of the industry's ambitions in Asia, where African Swine Fever has devastated the pork supply. There's also an increasing demand for meat alternatives in the United States.
Focus on Asia
Impossible and its main competitor, Beyond Meat, both see huge opportunities for growth in Asia.
"In the next year or two, we're putting a lot of effort into expanding into international markets, particularly in Asia, where pork is the dominant meat product," Impossible CEO Pat Brown told CNN Business.
During a call discussing Beyond Meat's third-quarter earnings, the company's CEO Ethan Brown said that "like many, we believe that Asia is a very attractive market for us," adding "you'll see us continue to be aggressive there." The opportunity "to produce and sell pork dumplings, for example, in Asia is significant and not one that's lost on us," he said.
Impossible is showcasing its new plant-based pork product in a variety of Asian dishes, including dumplings, noodles, dim sum and bao sandwiches.
Impossible's interest in Asia preceded the recent swine flu outbreak, which drove regional pork prices up dramatically and halved China's pig herd, by some estimates.
For now, plant-based meat is generally more expensive for consumers than animal meat. But that could change as companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible scale up, and major food companies like Kellogg and Nestlé make more plant-based options mainstream.
Although the crisis didn't drive Impossible's decision to start selling plant-based pork, it has "exacerbated the demand for a product like ours," Brown said.
It also highlights the dangers of relying on animal meat for food, said Caroline Bushnell, associate director of corporate engagement at the Good Food Institute, a nonprofit that supports plant-based businesses.
"What it's exposed is the inherent vulnerability of a supply chain that's dependent on animals," Bushnell said. "We're absolutely seeing that this current pork shortage has created a gap that the next generation of plant-based pork is perfectly poised to fill."
Domestic interest grows ...
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Impossible Dumplings and Beyond Buns: Will China Buy Fake Meat?
Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat want to expand to the Chinese market but face significant governmental and cultural hurdles.
By David Yaffe-Bellany, The New York Times (NYT)
Jan. 7, 2020
As an early sign of how Impossible Foods’ plant-based meat may fare in China, the placement of the company’s booth at the International Import Expo in Shanghai was not particularly auspicious.
Impossible Foods was relegated to the fringes of a cavernous convention center, surrounded by entrepreneurs with far less expansive ambitions than the transformation of the global meat industry. To one side of its booth in November was a company that sells sliding glass doors. Also nearby: a purveyor of Persian rugs.
“It was kind of obscure,” said Pat Brown, the chief executive of Impossible Foods. “Some far corner of this vast, insanely huge space.”
Over the last couple of years, Impossible Foods and its main rival, Beyond Meat, have gone from start-ups with niche followings to major American food companies. They have struck deals with fast-food chains like McDonald’s and Burger King, and earned plaudits for their efforts to replace animal products with plant-based substitutes that are healthier and less harmful to the environment.
Now the companies are looking to make inroads in a potentially even more profitable market with a major environmental footprint: China, the world’s largest consumer of meat. Meat production is a leading cause of climate change, experts say, and the growing demand for pork and beef in China has fueled much of that environmental damage, from water shortages and heat waves to deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.
“Every time someone in China eats a piece of meat, a little puff of smoke goes up in the Amazon,” Mr. Brown said. “It is an absolutely essential and extremely important market for us.”
But selling plant-based meat to mainland China will not be easy. Beyond Meat is available in dozens of countries, while Impossible Foods has sold its product in Singapore, Macau and Hong Kong. And the two companies have overcome pushback in the United States from cattle farmers, meat lobbyists and restaurants like Arby’s.
China, however, presents a different set of political and cultural hurdles, which other American food brands have found difficult to overcome. The complex regulatory process involves a web of state agencies that Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat will have to navigate. And then there is a more existential question: Will the Chinese public buy plant-based meat?
Despite the long history of vegetarian proteins in Chinese cuisine, many consumers in the country’s growing middle class consider meat an important status symbol, or have radically different expectations from Americans about how it should be prepared. In recent years, a number of Chinese companies have begun developing plant-based products, but those mostly target vegetarians, not the meat eaters Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods hope to attract.
“If I were on the board, I’d look at the C.E.O. and say, ‘You’re crazy,’” said Jeremy Haft, an expert on Chinese trade and the author of “Unmade in China,” a 2015 book about the country’s economy...
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