Impossible Foods CEO Envisions Meat-Free Future

With more plant-based “meat” options available now, Pat Brown wants to eliminate all animal-based meat by 2036.

July 20, 2021

Impossible Foods Impossible Burger

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.—Pat Brown, the CEO of Impossible Foods, thinks it will be possible to eliminate all animal-based meats within 15 years, the Washington Post reports. The segment, already growing pre-pandemic, took off during COVID-19 as more U.S. adults started cooking with plant-based meat options.

Brown’s company, one of the leaders in plant-based foods, said Impossible Foods has pledged to get rid of animal agriculture by 2036—“put it on your calendar, because Impossible Foods is going to do it,” he said.

Currently, alternative meat only has around a 1% share of the total meat market. But Brown noted that Impossible Foods continues to innovate and work on steak and other fillet-like cuts in plant-based form. “I’ve seen and tasted some prototypes that would amaze you. But we’re not going to launch a product on the market until we feel like it’s something that a hardcore meat lover would say, ‘This is awesome, I would definitely choose this.’ And we’re on a very good trajectory to that. My guess is it will be well under two years until we have an amazing product or products on the market. But that’s not a promise, that’s an honest guess,” he told the Post.

Shipments of plant-based proteins from foodservice distributors to commercial restaurants increased 60% in April 2021 compared with the same month a year ago, when the category saw declines because of pandemic restrictions. However, some restaurants haven’t found a ready customer base for alternative meat products. Dunkin’ recently scaled back its breakfast sandwich with a plant-based protein because of lackluster reception in some states.

The May foodservice issue of NACS Magazine explored the rising popularity of plant-based food and how convenience foodservice operations are incorporating it in “Plant-Based Food Takes Root.”