What happens when you put together a leading custom food manufacturer and a revolutionary meatless burger producer? An opportunity that just might save the planet.
OSI Group and Impossible Foods, the company behind the now-famous Impossible Burger, have secured a joint business venture. The plant-based Impossible Burger is aptly named. Impossible Burger’s popularity has exploded with American consumers in recent years. Now served at about 10,000 restaurants (including Burger King, White Castle and Red Robin), as well as theme parks and colleges in Asia and the U.S., the Impossible Burger comes in high demand in the wake of global sustainability awareness.
Dr. Patrick Brown, the founder of Impossible Foods, invented the unique meatless burger as a way to improve the environment. It’s a bold move, but the progress is solid. Producing the product saves about 3,000 gallons of water and 5 tons of feed that each cow consumes on American pasture lands. Eating a beefless diet also saves on tons of kilos of greenhouse gases that thousands of cows release each day. As the name implies, the Impossible Burger has practically achieved the impossible. It even won top prizes at the International Consumer Electronics Show in January 2019 – the first winning invention of edible food tech in the show’s history.
Mission Impossible: Sustainable Burger Service
Now that the product is immensely popular in both Asian and American continents, Impossible Foods is once again tackling another huge task – feeding the world sustainably one Impossible Burger at a time.
Just two months after their landslide success at the International Consumer Electronics Show, Impossible Foods doubled the size of its staff and tripled its Impossible Burger production. The 68,000 square foot plant in Oakland, California reached an all-time record in May, and again in June 2019.
To help meet the overwhelming demand, the long-time custom food manufacturer OSI Group partnered with Impossible Foods in the summer of 2019. OSI Group is well-seasoned in manufacturing burgers and fast food products for McDonald’s and other renowned companies in the food industry. The century-old company has more than 65 facilities in 17 countries – an opportunity that could lead to international distribution of Impossible Burgers, should the product receive approval to be distributed in additional countries. The burger is not the only product Impossible Foods produces, either. The meatless company has plans to manufacture meatless chicken, pork, fish and dairy substitute products as well. All of these products have the potential for growing in international markets and taking the world by storm in the meatless food industry.
“We look forward to lending our expertise to Impossible Foods as it embarks on one of the most ambitious startups in the food industry,” said Kevin Scott, the Senior Executive Vice President of OSI North America. “At the same time, Impossible Foods will help fulfill the OSI Group’s commitment to sustainable food production — one of the core prisms through which OSI management makes operational decisions.”
Sustainable Burgers = Sustainable Operations
Impossible Foods is quickly growing and adapting to the budding business opportunity. The company recently hired key corporate staff members to steer the helm, including President Dennis Woodside and Sheetal Shah, Senior Vice President of Product and Operations. Both Woodside and Shah previously worked in strong leadership positions in global corporations including Motorola Mobility, a renowned tech company later on acquired by Google.
Shah and Woodside helped the company’s team implement plans that improved operational efficiency. “We conducted an exhaustive due diligence process to determine how to scale our manufacturing, both in the short term and over the next several years, and we were thoroughly impressed with OSI’s commitment to quality and responsiveness,” Shah stated about the partnership. “OSI has already installed equipment to make the Impossible Burger, and we’ll start seeing new capacity every week.”
A Sustainable Future in 2020
How is production going between Impossible Foods and OSI Group? Strong and promising. Though restaurant business has significantly slowed since the COVID-19 outbreak, Impossible Foods continues to work with the FDA in the United States. With OSI’s help, they will soon roll out the flagship product to 777 grocery stores.
President Woodside isn’t concerned about the shifting landscape in the restaurant industry. “That business will come back. Being in retail is important for us to reach more consumers,” he stated. Surges in grocery store sales mean more people will cook Impossible Burgers at home. Once again, it looks like the Impossible Burger is doing the impossible… achieving a sustainable future one burger at a time.