Impossible Foods’ latest meatless product is set to hit tables from Thursday: plant-based pork that claims to be tastier and healthier than the real deal.
The ground pork product will first be available in restaurants in the U.S., Hong Kong and Singapore, with further plans for retail expansion in those markets in the coming months. It marks the California-based company’s third commercial launch after ground beef and chicken nuggets as it seeks to solidify its position in the growing plant-based protein space.
Speaking in a first-on interview ahead of the launch, Impossible Foods’ president Dennis Woodside told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” that the pork alternative could beat the real deal in both taste and nutritional value.
“Pig typically isn’t regarded as a healthy product, but here you have a substitute that tastes just as good but is actually better for you,” he said.
According to the company, the product — which is made primarily from soy — provides the same amount of protein as its traditional meat counterpart, but with no cholesterol, one-third less saturated fat, and far fewer calories.
Meantime, in a recent blind taste test conducted by Impossible Foods, it found that the majority (54%) of Hong Kong consumers said they preferred the meatless pork product.
“We’re not going to launch a product unless it’s actually better than the animal analog — both in terms of taste, which that data proves, and in terms of nutritional value,” said Woodside.
Impossible Pork Char Siu Buns are sampled during an Impossible Foods press event for CES 2020 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on January 6, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
David Becker | Getty Images News
Impossible’s meatless pork debuts at New York’s Momofuku Ssam Bar this Thursday, Sept. 23. It will then be available in Hong Kong from Oct. 4 and Singapore later this year. Participating restaurants include U.S. chain Ruby Tuesday, Tim Ho Wan and Hong Kong’s Beef & Liberty.
Woodside said it would be down to individual restaurants to determine their pricing, adding that Impossible products are typically “around the same price in a restaurant as animal meat — sometimes a little bit higher.”
The launch comes amid a growing appetite for alternative protein as consumers and companies alike become more aware of the environmental impact of traditional animal agriculture. It is estimated that the industry is responsible for 14.5% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Impossible Foods, for its part, claims its pork product uses 81%-85% less water, 66%-82% less land, and produces 73%-77% less greenhouse gas emissions than regular pork production.