- Walmart is now stocking Impossible Foods’ meatless burgers at more than 2,100 U.S. and on the retailer's e-commerce platform, the supplier announced Thursday.
Earlier this week, Trader Joe’s announced it's now carrying the plant-based burger in its stores, as well.
Impossible Foods said its burgers are now in more than 8,000 retail locations, a 50X increase in distribution over the past six months.
Plant-based meat sales were already strong pre-COVID, and now they've taken off amid increased grocery spending and the struggles faced by the meat industry. In addition to Trader Joe’s and Walmart, Impossible Foods also began distributing to 1,700 Kroger stores in May.
Many workers at meat-processing plants had fallen ill with COVID-19 in recent months, forcing plant closures and putting pressure on supply. Meat prices have also seen their highest inflation rates in several years, pushing consumers to find alternatives even as some retailers like Albertsons absorb increases via price promotions.
In the nine weeks leading up to May 2, alternative meat product sales rose 264%, according to Nielsen.
Impossible Foods' CEO told CNBC that 90% of its customers are meat consumers, indicating a growing desire among shoppers to diversify their diets. To cater to these shoppers, retailers are placing plant-based brands like Impossible and Beyond Meat in their meat departments. Between December and February, 60 Kroger stores that took this step reported a 23% increase in plant-based meat sales.
To cater to the demand, Impossible Foods has announced it is on a hiring surge, as well as increasing pay and adding more shifts.
Meanwhile, retailers like Aldi and Trader Joe’s have launched their own private label alternative meat options. Kroger, which launched a line of plant-based foods under its Simple Truth brand last year, rolled out a separate plant-based meat brand in January.