One of the defining trends of the past couple of years has been increased scrutiny on the factory farming industry. The ethical, environmental, and social consciousness has catalysed tremendous innovation in meat alternatives that attempt to lower global meat consumption and improve sustainability as a result.
Impossible Foods is one of the leaders in this space – and have been for a long time. In this article, we’ll explore just what makes their products so impressive, and what their growth outlook looks like for 2022 and beyond.
What is Impossible Foods all about?
As a company, Impossible Foods is on a mission to create meat alternatives that are so comparable to meat products that you wouldn’t know the difference. They think that by doing this, they can meet people where they are and help to drive toward the future of sustainable food by offering something that looks familiar.
This psychological distinction is an important one because human behaviour is very difficult to change. So by creating plant-based chicken nuggets, burger patties, sausages, and the like – they hope to transcend the unwillingness to change and subtly affect the general diet of everyday people.
The success so far
This strategy has thus far worked really well and the company has gone from strength to strength. In 2021 alone, retail sales were up 85% from the year before, with their products being stocked in 20,000 grocery stores and 40,000 restaurants across the globe. They have a commanding share of the plant-based food market and continue to play a significant role in shaping the future of our food ecosystem.
The company is a poster child for what the future of meat alternatives can be, and they have proven that their ideas can become products that penetrate the traditional retail markets – giving them the market access that they need to take things to the next level.
What is the growth outlook for the future?
The case for strong long-term growth is quite a simple one. If you believe that the world will slowly move towards plant-based alternatives in terms of a standard diet, then Impossible Foods stands to win a large portion of that total market share. Analysts at UBS estimate that this market could rise from its current level of around $4.6bn all the way up to $85bn by 2030. Impossible Foods would certainly play their part in this, and that puts them in a great position to grow significantly as that shift happens. There will be no shortage of funding as more investment firms focus on ESG, and so they’ll have all the fuel that they need to rapidly expand operations and, thus, their impact.
In addition, they are also working on new products, and with each innovation, it creates an additional revenue stream that scales the company forward. The other dynamic that comes into play is international expansion – taking the brand they’ve already built and accessing new markets and cultures.
As you can see, it’s very early in the innovation cycle for Impossible Foods, and they have tremendous potential to become one of the largest and most significant food companies in the world. As a result, the growth outlook is immense, and they’re certainly one to watch.
Will Impossible Foods IPO soon?
There have been some rumours circulating that Impossible Foods might be considering an IPO of some sort. The current sales trends and their standing in the market make this a prime time to capitalize on the momentum and take things to the next level. While the company has not confirmed any of these rumours – it does seem that to truly take the mission global and into mainstream consciousness more seriously – they would need to access public funds in a big way.
What is likely to delay any potential IPO is the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on restaurants. Major competitor Beyond Meat has fallen onto quite hard times recently, as restaurant sales plummeted – and so did the share price. So Impossible Foods might be biding their time to find the right opportunity to jump into the public arena.
What is for sure is that there is a lot of investor interest. For many, this feels like the ground floor of a plant-based revolution, and being able to be a part of such a transcendent movement is an exciting proposition. The long-term trends seem inevitable, and Impossible Foods is one of the few that are squarely in the right place at the right time to take advantage of them.
Investing in an Impossible Foods IPO is not only good for the environment, but it’s also likely to be good for investors – especially if sustainability continues to be such a crucial component of the global conversation. Only time will tell whether this will bear out in the chaos of the public markets.
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