Impossible Foods Describes Expansion Plans In Asia As Its 'Number One Focus'

The plant-based company explains why it launched in 'one of the heaviest meat-eating markets in the world'
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'Asia is by far the number one focus for us' (Photo: Impossible Foods)

Plant-based company, Impossible Foods, has described plans to expand in Asia - a region that reportedly accounts for 44 percent of the world's meat consumption - as its 'number one focus'.

Last year, Hong Kong became the first place out of the US to feature the meatless product as it launched in three restaurants: Little Bao, Happy Paradise, and Beef & Liberty.

Since then, the Impossible patty has launched in a slew of eateries in Singapore, including Gordon Ramsay's restaurant, Bread Street Kitchen.

'It is core to our mission'

"Asia is by far the number one focus for us. It is core to our mission; core to our business," Nick Halla, the brand's Senior Vice President, said on CNBC's 'Street Signs'.

"Very few people realize that 44 percent of the world's meat is consumed in Asia and [that 's] growing really quickly; food safety [and] food security are big challenges over here."

Halla, who described Hong Kong as 'one of the heaviest meat-eating markets in the world', added: "The first thing we have to do, coming into a new market, is build that credibility that this is not the plant-based product of the past.

"So here in Hong Kong, we started with two of the most meat-heavy, global-renowned chefs, May Chow, and Uwe Opocensky, to help us tell that story. Them putting it on their menu is a great sign of credibility to us, to really hit the mass market too."

Vegan controversy

Impossible Foods itself considers its meatless patty to be plant-based rather than vegan.

This is because in 2017 a key ingredient - soy leghemoglobin (heme) - from the brand's flagship item the Impossible Burger was fed to rats in order to test its safety. In excess of 180 rats were killed as a result of the testing.

CEO Pat Brown reacted to the controversy, publishing a statement titled The Agonizing Dilemma of Animal Testing.