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Three years have passed since we published an article entitled “Welcome to the Era of Plant-Based Meat.” We had just gotten our first hands-on look at the Impossible Burger in our test kitchen, and we were already sold on its ability to mimic actual beef. Plenty has transpired since 2016, and you’re likely familiar with much of it: From the plant-based burger’s highly-hyped beginnings at places like Momofuku Nishi and smaller chains like Umami Burger, to ever-larger rollouts at places like White Castle and Burger King. Along the way, the Impossible Burger has maintained its relevance by probably being the most authentically-meaty meatless burger on the market.
But Impossible Foods still has one last hurdle to jump for its era of plant-based meat to truly arrive. Despite infiltrating the restaurant world, the burgers needed to reach consumers at retail. Last November, Impossible Foods promised that its products would hit grocery stores in 2019, and now, the moment is here. The Impossible Burger will make its grand grocery store debut tomorrow, Friday, September 20.
But wait one second. Similar to how Impossible started small with restaurants, the plant-based brand isn’t launching at supermarkets with a massive, national rollout. Quite the opposite actually: For now, 12-ounce packages of ground Impossible Burger product will only be available at 27 Gelson’s Market locations in Southern California, priced at $8.99 per pack.
However, Impossible Foods also says there’s no reason to sell your house and move to SoCal. The company explains that they “will be announcing additional partners across the country later this month”—meaning it won’t be long before the more of us can be making our own plant-based burgers (and anything else requiring ground meat) at home.
And frankly, can you blame them for their slow-and-steady approach to this rollout? As recently as June, Impossible Foods was still struggling with shortages on its signature product. After three years of waiting for the chance to cook their own Impossible Burgers, fans are probably better served to wait just a couple weeks longer instead of rushing out to the grocery store only to discover that the burgers are as impossible to find as they are to believe.