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Impossible Foods Expedites Asia Expansion

With Asia as its priority market, the US plant-based food company steps up its efforts in Hong Kong to drive international retail footprint.

There is an increasing trend of people switching to plant-based diet for health, environmental or ethical reasons, but many find it difficult to compromise the satisfaction of meaty taste. Impossible Foods is one of the pioneers to develop plant-based food that doesn’t compromise on the look, taste, nutrition and texture of animal meat with a mission to restore sustainability and biodiversity of the global food system.

“Our mission is to eliminate the need for animals as a food production technology and make the global food system sustainable by 2035,” explained Heidi Nam, General Manager of Impossible Foods Hong Kong. “We make delicious, nutritious, affordable and sustainable meat, fish and dairy from plants, using a small fraction of natural resources. It is essential to the survival of our species that we turn back the clock on climate change, and a plant-based diet is the most powerful tool an individual has to do so.”

Surging demand in Asia 

Following its debut of Impossible™ Burger in the US in 2016, the company set its eyes on the vibrant Asia market, and looked no further than Hong Kong to expedite its expansion. “Demand for meat is growing faster in Asia than anywhere else on the planet,” said Nam, “Hong Kong specifically is not only one of the world’s highest meat consuming cities per capita, but it is also home to some of the world’s most discerning gourmands and trend-setting chefs.” 

“We made our first overseas debut in Hong Kong in 2018 and launched our products at some of the city’s most beloved restaurants. We further rolled out to other markets in Asia, including Macao and Singapore a year later. Since then, we are thrilled to see huge growth in our footprint globally,” Nam recalled.  

Impossible Foods’ products are now available in over 30,000 restaurants around the world, after making its grocery store debut in September 2019 in the US, its international retail footprint further expanded in October 2020 with Asia as the first stop. With increase in economies of scale, it also managed to lower the wholesale prices by 15 percent in March 2020, followed by another two rounds of price cuts in 2021, including the latest retail price drop in Hong Kong which exceeds 20 percent, leading towards its mission to make affordable and sustainable meat from plants.  

International food city with diverse culinary scene 

Nam shares the secret ingredient for Impossible Foods’ success: “It’s all about closely assessing the market to ensure we tailor our approach and are introduced in a way that will resonate. In Hong Kong, we started with renowned chefs famous for their meaty dishes, and worked to get Impossible products on the menus of every restaurant and represent the culinary diversity of the markets to gain credibility. We can see that Hong Kong people are open and interested in becoming more sustainably-minded through their food choices.” 

Hong Kong is more than just a launch pad for Impossible Foods, as Nam remarked, “there is a much greater variety of cuisine here in Hong Kong that are much more Asian-focused, this helps us gain a better understanding about consumers’ needs in the nearby markets.” The recent relocation to Hong Kong of Nick Halla, Impossible Foods’ Senior Vice President of International, also reinforces the city’s crucial role in the company’s Asia expansion.

07.04.2021

Fast Facts

  • Headquartered in California, Impossible Foods was founded in 2011 by Dr. Patrick O. Brown, a Stanford biochemistry professor emeritus and former pediatrician
  • Currently has around five employees in Hong Kong supporting local marketing, sales and business development functions, as well as distributor and retailer relations

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