NEW YORK — Good news for vegetarians on the East Coast of the United States — the Impossible Burger is arriving at your grocery stores.
Starting Thursday, the soy-based meat substitute will be available in select grocery stores along the East Coast, less than a week after making its grocery-store debut on the West Coast.
The burgers will be available in 100 Wegmans supermarkets in seven states, and two Fairway stores in New York’s Manhattan — increasing the number of nationwide retailers that sell the Impossible Burger fivefold, according to a company press release.
There are Wegmans stores in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. The two Fairway stores are located on 74th Street and 86th Street.
The Impossible Burger made a splash last week when it debuted in California — in its first full weekend sale in Gelson’s supermarkets, Impossible Burger outsold ground beef from cows, in terms of both revenue and the number of pounds sold, said Impossible Foods.
“The Impossible Burger generated more excitement than any other single product we’ve seen in more than a half-century of operations,” said Gelson’s CEO Rob McDougall in the press release.
The Impossible Burger debuted three years ago at Momofuku Nishi, a high-end restaurant in New York City owned by chef David Chang. Now, the Impossible Burger is served at over 17,000 restaurants, including Burger King and White Castle.
But it’s also facing growing competition. Its main rival, Beyond Meat, has meatless burgers, sausages, and more at retailers like Safeway and Kroger. Kellogg plans to launch a line of meat substitutes called Incogmeato under its Morningstar Farms brand next year.
Even Nestlé is hard at work developing its own fake meat products — it has spent more than $5 million to renovate its facilities to focus on products like the wheat-gluten-based Benevolent Bacon.
The fake meat trend has exploded in the past few years — so much so that the two companies briefly struggled with shortages. With an increasing number of consumers going vegan and vegetarian over concerns of climate change and health, demand is growing — as evidenced by the inclusion of giants like Nestlé, the largest food company in the world, according to Forbes.
And it looks like it’s here to stay — Barclays predicts the alternative meat sector could reach about $140 billion in sales over the next decade, capturing about 10% of the global meat industry.