‘We are meat’: Impossible Foods launches first national ad campaign targeting meat eaters

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

Photo Credit: Impossible Foods
Photo Credit: Impossible Foods

Related tags Impossible Foods plant-based meat

Impossible Foods has launched its first national advertising campaign targeting meat eaters who haven’t yet tried Impossible products, specifically its flagship product, the plant-based Impossible Burger.

The first national integrated campaign for Impossible Foods kicks off today with US television, digital, and social elements including five TV spots.

Nine out of 10 consumers of Impossible Foods products are meat eaters, according to the company, which has made an effort to market towards meat eaters with food service distribution deals with Burger King and merchandising next to beef products at retail.

And while the company has exploded in availability – now available in roughly 20,000 grocery stores and 30,000 restaurants – there is still a large segment of the population that has yet to try the Impossible Burger and who may still be reticent to do so because of pre-existing perceptions of what plant-based meat product tastes like, says Jessie Becker, Impossible Foods’ senior vice president of marketing.

"Once people try Impossible Burger they are blown away by its taste. But consumers are skeptical based on years of sub-par experiences with conventional, plant-based products. We built this campaign to introduce Impossible products to consumers nationwide as delicious meat — no qualifications or compromises needed,"​ said Becker.

In a series of TV ads with the tagline 'We are Meat,' the company features the Impossible Burger performing just like a conventional beef burger (sizzling on a grill with melted cheese and placed into a toasted bun).

The intent of the campaign is to show consumers that Impossible products deliver the same, craveable, meaty experience as their beef counterparts but without the heavy environmental toll on livestock, said Impossible Foods CEO and founder Dr. Pat Brown.

We can replace yesterday’s ridiculous, animal-based technology with a categorically better way of transforming plants into meat. And we can do it with zero compromise on taste, nutrition, convenience or family traditions,”​ said Dr. Brown.

The other goal of the campaign, according to the company and Portland-based ad agency Wieden+Kennedy, is to challenge the notion that meat must come exclusively from animals, and to drive home the message that the Impossible Burger, which contains no animal ingredients, animal hormones or antibiotics, tastes like beef, says Impossible Foods.

'Impossible meat, made from plants'See the other TV ads here.

Meat-free future: 100% displacement goal

Impossible Foods has expanded retail availability (the products were sold in 150 grocery stores one year ago) and cut its prices​ to $5.49 for its two patty packs and lowered its 12-oz bricks down to $6.99 (On-shelf prices may vary depending on location and retailer) to drive higher levels of trial among consumers.

In September 2020, 72 cents of every $1 spent on Impossible Burger came at the direct expense of animal-derived products, registering a “displacement rate”​ of 72%. By March 2021, Impossible Burger’s displacement rate was 82%. The company’s goal is 100% displacement.

The price cuts and growing displacement rate are the direct result of growing demand and economies of scale for Impossible products. The company plans to keep cutting prices until it undercuts the average price of commodity ground beef from cows — an achievement possible within the next couple of years, Brown believes.

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