Why The Meatless "Impossible Burger" Is Becoming Impossible To Find

Jun 6, 2019

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There are two growing California-based companies producing plant-based so-called "meatless" meat: the Los Angeles-based Beyond Meat, and the Bay Area-based Impossible Foods.  However, the meatless Impossible Burger is becoming increasingly impossible to find.  As Capital Public Radio's Randol White explains, it now has so many fans, restaurants can't get enough to go around.

If you haven't tried one, it's hard to impress just how much the latest version of the Impossible Burger mimics ground beef.

But it's entirely plant based .

California restaurants were among first to adopt the burger and remain its top retailers.

Now, at the height of its popularity, some are dropping Impossible. Why? They can't get it.

Sacramento's Hook and Ladder executive chef Anthony Scuderi put Impossible on his menu as soon as it became available.

SCUDERI: "It created a following. People seeked it out, they knew that we had it and they came here for it."

Natsound: sizzle

But, now he's cooked up a house-made vegan alternative ... and he's clear about whether Impossible will make a return.

SCUDERI: "Never again, you know, it's gone."

Part of Scuderi's frustration comes from Bay Area-based Impossible Food's announcement this year ... it had teamed up with Burger King to sell the patty.

Distributors and chefs we spoke with blame that partnership for the shortage.

KONRAD: "There's just no way that Burger King is sucking up all of our product. The numbers just don't bear that out."

Impossible's Rachel Konrad says supply problems are hitting everyone, including the limited number of Burger King locations now carrying it.

KONRAD: "Certainly, yeah, there are many days when they've run out of it too."

She says the company just raised 300 million dollars, and is working to meet demand ... something that could become more challenging as it's launched in grocery stores later this year.

In Sacramento, I'm Randol White.