The plant-based meat company Impossible Foods announced its entry into grocery stores outside of the U.S. for the first time as it begins distributing its beef alternative in 200 locations in Asia.
"With our business now growing 100x — we have grown from 150 global grocery locations to over 15,000 now — it was clear that we needed to continue to roll out to home chefs in Asia," Chief Financial Officer David Lee told Cheddar.
Lee went on to tout, specifically, its expansion in Hong Kong and Singapore, as the company looks to provide its faux meat directly to consumers. Impossible Foods products had already been established in restaurants there.
"We've had great experiences in countries and city-states that set food trends globally," he said. "Asia's 40 percent of, we think, the global market for meat, and Hong Kong and Singapore [and] Macau, these are gateway locations that have some of the best chefs and culinary experiences."
While large regions, like mainland China, have not yet been included in this expansion, Lee was emphatic that the company had plans to enter "all major global markets beyond the ones we're in."
The CFO admitted that the coronavirus pandemic has been challenging for the business. But, in comparison to the traditional meat industry, he noted that Impossible Foods has been both lucky and prepared, noting that it "called a shelter-in-place before most," even prior to the one put in place in the Bay Area.
"Our heart goes out to all of the workers that are still shipping animals, chopping them up under tough labor conditions. You've seen the impact, COVID has had on a number of these slaughterhouses," Lee said. "The good news for us is we avoid many of those risks, but we still are very vigilant."