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“Everything we have brought to the retail market so far has been extremely well received”

By on August 11, 2021 0

The product (SRP $ 5.99 / 14oz pack) – rolled out at major chains including Kroger, King Soopers, Safeway, Albertsons, Wegmans, Stop & Shop, Hannaford, Shoprite and Sprouts – is made with protein concentrate soybean as the main ingredient, and contains the company’s flagship ingredient, soy leghemoglobin, a protein that carries the iron-containing molecule “heme,” according to Impossible Foods founder Dr. Pat Brown “Gives meat a unique taste like meat”.

While some reviewers have questioned whether plant-based burgers are better for you than beef burgers, many of which contain similar levels of saturated fat, for example, the nutritional credentials of plant-based sausages compare more favorably. compared to their pork-based counterparts, with Impossible Sausage (when cooked) containing 30% less calories, 47% less total fat, 43% less saturated fat and zero cholesterol compared to the main ground pork sausage, according to Impossible Foods.

Like the Impossible Burger, the Impossible Sausage also contains iron, vitamins and minerals, including 50% of the DV for vitamin B12, a nutrient especially important for vegans and vegetarians.

‘The [plant-based] chopped sausage category is ripe for disturbance

While the company may launch multiple package formats and sizes for a given product (it now has a 12oz brick, an 8oz two-pack of burgers, and a six-hamburger frozen package for its flagship Impossible Burger at the retail), it made sense to debut sausage with a ground product because it’s the most versatile, Michael Bortinger, senior director of retail marketing at Impossible Foods, told FoodNavigator-USA.

the [plant-based] The ground sausage category is ripe for disruption, there really isn’t a strong offering in this format in the plant-based category at this time, and it’s a very versatile option that allows the consumer to eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So that’s where we’re excited to get into this format, right off the bat, as we take a look at the full pipeline of sausage offerings.

He added: “Right now, plant-based products make up about 0.25% of the total ground sausage category, while for link sausages, I think it’s closer to 3%, so we think having found spaces and that is why so many retailers are excited to start carrying the product.

Retail sales of plant-based meat in the United States rose 13.2% to $ 1.409 billion in the 52 weeks to July 11, 2021, according to new data from Chicago. TURN.

Sales of frozen products increased 9.54% to $ 823.9 million, while sales of refrigerated products increased 18.85% to $ 585.5 million during the same period.

All key sub-categories are growing, with the exception of frozen grounds and chilled breads and roasts. Photo credit: Getty Images / pixsooz

Impossible Foods products, among the most productive in the category?

On a more practical level, he asserted, Impossible Foods’ products are more productive on the shelf than many other brands in the dedicated plant-based sets emerging from retailers in the case of meat, which in turn means makes an attractive proposition for buyers who are considering metrics such as turns and profit.

“Our 12 oz brick has been a premier item [in the set] on a productivity basis so they know we’re generating a lot of traction and traffic, but we want to work with each retail partner to make sure what we have is best for their buyers given the limited space. .

“But with so many plant-based offerings, they look at productivity, and we’re really excited about our results on burger items, and I think that’s why so many retailers are jumping on our ground sausage… this speed. is very attractive to them. “

Asked about in-store product support, he said: “We have a strong plan of coupons and in-store sign promotion to ensure consumers can find it in stores, then as more opportunities arise we will expand this toolkit for marketing purposes. ‘test… And then we will continue to raise awareness – generate activities with media partners and our own marketing assets.

Impossible_Sausage_Retail-salty and spicy

Ingredients (salted):Water, soy protein concentrate, sunflower oil, coconut oil, 2% or less methylcellulose, yeast extract, salt, natural flavors, cultured dextrose, spices, modified starch, onion powder, powder garlic, citric acid, soybean leghemoglobin, mixture of tocopherols, soy protein isolate, zinc, vitamin B3, B6, B2, B12

Nutrition (salty) per 56g serving:130 calories, 7 g protein, 1 g fiber, 9 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 380 mg sodium. 50% DV for vitamin B12, 8% DV for iron, 25% DV for zinc, 10% DV for folate, 10% DV for vitamin B6, 15% DV for Riboflavin, 25% DV for B3 (niacin ).

This equates to 30% fewer calories, 47% less total fat, 43% less saturated fat when cooked and zero cholesterol, compared to the main ground pork sausage, according to Impossible Foods.

Dynamics of meat categories of plant origin: “There is a size in progress at the moment”

So how do retailers view the plant-based meat category, and will there be a shake-up as Me Too products and underperforming brands and SKUs are ditched?

“The category continues to evolve”, said Bortinger, who joined Impossible Foods in the summer of 2020 after a short stint at Manitoba Harvest and several years at General Mills in various roles.

“There is pruning going on right now. Lots of things go in and out, some work, some don’t. But so far everything that we have brought to the market in retail has been very well received by consumers, and the productivity that shows up in the data reflects that.

“When the consumer is in the meat buying spirit, they can see us right next to the traditional animal meat options…”

Regarding merchandising, he said: “Of what we have seen, it makes more sense to store herbal products where the buyer is looking for meat, so in this set or next to it, so when the consumer is in the state of mind buying meat, he can see us correctly beside the traditional options of animal meat.

While every brand wants more shelf space, he said, visibility matters in an emerging category, especially in the case of meat: “In some stores, you’ll see our 12-ounce brick face multiple times to make sure there are enough products on the shelf to serve consumers, but also to break into the shelf amidst a sea of ​​animal protein. We want to go out and make sure the consumer can find us easily. “

“This will be one of the most competitive items in our portfolio compared to the animal analogue”

Asked about the prices, he said, “We have continued to make our products more affordable, and this is one of our most competitive items.

“So on a per pound basis we’re in a range of, I think, a multiple of x1.5 to x1.8, so this will be one of the more competitive items in our portfolio compared to the analogue. animal.

Messaging: “We speak above all about taste”

When it comes to messaging and retailer support, both in-store and online, he said: “We always make sure, especially now with the rise of online shopping, that we have really strong content on [retailer partners’] websites on nutritional value, use, recipes and so on.

“But first and foremost we are talking about taste, so we have invested in top food photography to really highlight how delicious and versatile this product is, as well as the fact that we are removing the pig from it. equation. “

Impossible Sausage – a version of which is sold in thousands of American Starbucks stores as a patty as part of a breakfast sandwich as well as a few hundred cafes in Hong Kong – was rated as good or better than the minced pork sausage by 66% of consumers in a recent home use test with 136 consumers, says Impossible Foods. Image credit: Impossible Foods
Representing nearly 38% of the world’s meat production, pork is the most consumed animal in the world, according to Impossible Foods. “Each year in the United States alone, more than 121 million pigs are killed for food. Impossible Sausage generates significantly less greenhouse gas emissions than pork sausages and uses 79% less water and 41% less land. Image credit: Impossible Foods

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