California-based brand Impossible Foods is planning to launch plant-based pork in China. Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown spoke with Bloomberg from the floor at trade show China International Import Expo in Shanghai this week where he plans to serve the Impossible Burger to 50,000 people. “We already have very good prototypes of plant-based pork,” Brown said. “It’s really just a matter of commercializing and scaling that.”
Impossible Foods looks to make an impact in China—where 28 percent of the world’s meat supply is consumed—by establishing local production facilities and working with government agencies to curb the growing demand in the region for meat. “Demand for meat exceeds by a factor of four what China can produce on its own land,” Brown said before explaining that Impossible Foods’ production process uses 1/25th the amount of land as traditional animal agriculture. Ultimately, Impossible Foods’ mission is to create plant-based versions of all food animals by 2035. “We want to make all the meats that Chinese consumers care about as fast as possible,” Brown said.
Financial institution Rabobank estimates that 200 million pigs will perish this year in China in connection to the African Swine Flu epidemic, which Brown hopes Impossible Foods can help alleviate. “As a small company, we are not going to fill the void left by the African swine fever epidemic,” Brown said. “But this is an opportunity as people are going to realize how vulnerable animal-based food production is. It’s a real food security issue and we want to help China solve that.” While it is mostly known for its plant-based burgers in the United States, Impossible Foods sells some plant-based pork products through its partner restaurant chain Little Caesar’s and Chicago-based Giordano’s.