REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Impossible Foods is launching innovative collaborations with distributors, retailers and restaurateurs as the US food industry adapts to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The leading food tech startup announced a program today with food wholesaler Cheetah — the first time consumers can buy third-pound Impossible Burger patties as a bulk purchase. Cheetah is a San Francisco-based e-commerce company offering contactless pickup of wholesale groceries and supplies for consumers, independent restaurants and small businesses.
The Cheetah campaign is the first of its kind for Impossible Foods, which is also selling its product directly to consumers through restaurants and a growing number of grocery stores. Impossible Foods is also testing direct-to-consumer demand, but the company is not providing additional details at this time.
“We want to work with innovative, entrepreneurial partners that quickly respond to consumer changes — including the fact that more and more Americans are cooking and eating at home,” said Impossible Foods’ President Dennis Woodside. “At the same time, we know that some behavior changes will persist well beyond the current pandemic — including a growing reliance on food delivery and online purchases.”
Cheetah sells Impossible Burger’s all-new, third-pound patties in a single pack (eight patties) for $33.31, and a case of four packs (32 patties) for $109.76. Consumers, independent restaurants and retailers can download the Cheetah app and order Impossible Burger directly for pickup at numerous Bay Area locations, which Cheetah has turned into mobile fulfillment centers.
“Cheetah is proud to be Impossible Foods’ first point of direct-to-consumer distribution,” said Na’ama Moran, Co-founder and CEO of Cheetah. “Our teams acted swiftly to put distribution of the Impossible Burger into Cheetah’s app and distribution platform only a month after we began offering drive-through contactless pickup of groceries for consumers during COVID-19. As families shelter in place and cook more at home, the Impossible Burger is an excellent choice for plant-based meat that grills great for outdoor BBQs.”
New guidance, new business
Consumers can also buy Impossible Foods’ bulk 5-pound bricks or quarter-pound patty packs via pickup at or delivery from many restaurants. Restaurants throughout America can now sell inventory ingredients directly to consumers, thanks to new national guidelines.
On March 26, the US Food and Drug Administration issued temporary guidance for restaurants and food manufacturers, giving them more flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic regarding labeling on food that was not originally intended for retail sale.
Many restaurant partners have started selling Impossible Burger directly to consumers — whether as an additional revenue stream for take-out orders, or as a means of reducing perishable inventory during temporary shut-downs. Inventory sales have become a critical revenue channel for restaurants as dine-in service wanes due to shelter-in-place orders and social distancing.
Some of the most innovative restaurants, including Prairie in San Francisco, Grindhouse Killer Burgers in Atlanta and Founding Farmers in the Midatlantic region, have set up online “general stores” where they sell Impossible Burger inventory, food kits and cooked items in their kitchens and warehouses.
Retail rollout continues
In addition to inventory sales through distributors and restaurants, Impossible Foods continues to accelerate its grocery store rollout.
Impossible Burger made its retail debut in September 2019, when it immediately rocketed to the No.1 item sold on the East and West coasts, easily outselling all ground beef from cows at many grocery stores. At one grocery store in Southern California, Impossible Burger outsold the next most popular single product by more than six-fold.
Last week, Impossible Foods announced that Impossible Burger will begin rolling out at 777 additional supermarkets in California, Nevada and parts of the Midwest.
The award-winning, plant-based meat from the leading food tech startup is in stock or soon hitting shelves in about 1,000 U.S. grocery stores, including:
- All Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions and Gelson’s Markets in Southern California
- All Safeway stores in Northern California
- All Safeway stores in Nevada
- All Jewel-Osco stores in the greater Chicago area, and portions of eastern Iowa and northwest Indiana
- All Wegmans stores along the Eastern seaboard
- All Fairway Markets in the New York City region
Impossible Foods plans to accelerate its retail expansion throughout 2020 — including the debut of Impossible Burger at nationwide retailers. The company will announce specific stores shortly before the product hits those retailers’ shelves.
About Impossible Foods:
Based in California’s Silicon Valley, Impossible Foods makes delicious, nutritious meat and dairy products from plants — with a much smaller environmental footprint than meat from animals. The privately held food tech startup was founded in 2011 by Patrick O. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry at Stanford University and a former Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Investors include Mirae Asset Global Investments, Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates, Google Ventures, Horizons Ventures, UBS, Viking Global Investors, Temasek, Sailing Capital, and Open Philanthropy Project.
Impossible Foods was Inc. Magazine’s company of the year and one of Time Magazine’s 50 Genius companies. The flagship product, Impossible Burger, was named top plant-based burger by the New York Times and received the Food and Beverage (FABI) Award from the National Restaurant Association.
Cheetah is a provider of contactless pickup and delivery services for food and supplies at wholesale prices. By turning refrigerated trucks into mobile fulfillment centers, Cheetah provides the safest option for pickup services without contact and away from crowds. Consumers simply place their order through the Cheetah mobile app and drive to one of the multiple designated locations in the Bay Area where the products are placed in the trunk of the car without leaving the driver’s seat.
Founded in 2015 by Na’ama Moran, Christopher Elliott, Alon Har-Tal and Vincent Matranga, the company is financially backed by Eclipse, Floodgate, Hanaco, and ICONIQ Capital with headquarters in San Francisco and offices in Israel. For more information, visit www.gocheetah.com and follow us on Instagram and Twitter at @gocheetah.