Impossible Foods has a big new offering in the works: filet mignon
The mission of Impossible Foods aims to win over meat-eaters–not only by creating meat alternatives that are more sustainable, but also by providing meats that taste as good as real meat. Brown stated that the company won’t release a product until they feel it can compete with the equivalent animal product “head-to-head .”
The main challenge is to get the texture right. Brown stated that the company had to change its method of producing ground beef in order to recreate the structure of steak.
Impossible Foods first shared its ambitions to expand beyond ground meat, sausage, and chicken and into steak products with The Spoon in 2019, after debuting its Burger 2.0 at that year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Brown also spoke about Impossible’s big plans with Temple back in 2020, and dug into the challenges of creating an alternative steak:
[ What are the characteristics of a great steak? It is essential to have a steak with the right texture and muscle structure. It has connective tissue, which is a non-woven fabric of proteins, and then it has the interstitial fat tissue. What are the most important things about the adipose tissues? Its mechanical properties are important, but so is its melting behavior and flavor chemistry.
Since then, other companies have either created their own steak prototypes or announced plans to do so. Rival company Beyond Meat has already introduced its Beyond Steak product at Jewel-Osco grocery stores and is launching a Beyond Carne Asada Steak in partnership with Taco Bell this week at select restaurants. Brown said that the real test is not what he thinks about the filet but what the consumers think. Stay tuned,” he stated. “It’s definitely coming.”
As for what else Impossible has planned, we’ll have to just guess–though it’s clear this isn’t the end of the line. As Brown said, “Anything you can imagine we might be working on, we’re working on.”
You can read more of Brown’s remarks, and catch up on the rest of the day, from our live blog here. ClimateTech, MIT Technology Review’s inaugural climate event will return for day two tomorrow.
Additional reporting by Amy Nordrum. This piece has been updated.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.