Impossible Foods cuts prices 15% as new competitors enter plant-based meat market

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Credit: Florida Today

Makers of plant-based meat alternatives are cutting prices, as startups compete with food-industry giants for slices of the rapidly growing market.

Impossible Foods Inc. said [March 3.] that it had reduced wholesale prices for its products by 15%. Big food companies—including Nestlé SA, Smithfield Foods Inc., Cargill Inc. and food distributor Sysco Corp. —have recently set plans to introduce their own meat-free patties, sometimes at lower prices than those charged by startups, like Impossible, that helped popularize plant-based products.

Impossible and rival Beyond Meat Inc. are jockeying with food-industry giants for a plant-based meat alternative market that is growing faster than sales of traditional meat. Plant-based meat sales in U.S. retail stores totaled a little over $1 billion for the 52 weeks ended Jan. 25, according to Nielsen, up 14% from the prior year.

Related article:  Food industry splinters on GMO labeling, plant-based products in scramble to meet changing consumer demands

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Impossible and Beyond say they use less grain, water and energy to make burgers from soy and pea protein than companies that feed, slaughter and transport livestock.

But the plant-based production processes are more expensive than traditional burger making, partly because meat mimics are made on a scale far smaller than the global meat industry …. A lower price point will make their products more appealing to customers, plant-based food proponents say.

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