Impossible Foods recently announced that its enormously popular meat-free food product, the Impossible Burger, is being made available in more than 100 grocery stores in several East Coast states. This follows a similar availability for supermarkets in key southern California locations.
This may not seem like a big deal since food companies place their products on store shelves as a matter of routine. But just a few months ago, buying the Impossible Burger in a grocery store would have been, well, impossible.
That’s because the Redwood City, California, company was falling seriously behind in production. The skyrocketing popularity of the plant-based faux meat product caught everyone by surprise. Soring sales in more than 10,000 restaurants kept the Impossible Foods manufacturing facility in Oakland running 24-hours with workers pulling 12-hour shifts – and that was just to supply restaurant customers.
The fact that the Impossible Burger is now heading to grocery store shelves is probably the result of Impossible Foods’ recently deal with OSI Group of Chicago to help with manufacturing. OSI Group is one of the largest food and meat processors in the world and renowned for being the No. 1 supplier of McDonalds.
OSI Group is a more-than-a-century-old firm that has experienced rapid growth since the 1970s thanks to its relationship with McDonalds. Today it maintains more than 65 facilities in 17 nations. Its infrastructure and production capacity are enormous, as is its advanced food processing expertise. The ability to crank out millions of units per day combined with cutting-edge processing technology was just what Impossible Foods needed to solve its intractable production dilemma.
OSI Group said it will manufacture the Impossible Burger is one of its Chicago locations and expand to other Midwest facilities as demand indicates.
Impossible Foods conducted an exhaustive search and vetting process before opting to select OSI as a manufacturing provider. It was not an easy decision because of the highly proprietary and even secretive nature of the formula for making the plant-based meat substitute. The stellar reputation of OSI Group and its commitment to sustainability were key factors in the decision by Impossible Foods to choose them as a partner.