Impossible Pork Debuts In US Before Going Global: Here’s Where to Get It

|Updated Oct 4, 2021
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Impossible Foods just launched its vegan pork alternative at several restaurants in the US ahead of its global retail and foodservice debut. Impossible Pork arrived at Chef David Chang’s acclaimed Momofuku Ssam Bar in New York City last week. Chang –– who became the first chef in the US to debut the Impossible signature Impossible Burger –– will incorporate the plant-based pork into its signature Spicy Race Cakes with an Impossible Pork Ragu.

“Our menu calls for high quality, versatile ingredients, and Impossible Foods' products always deliver," Momofuku Culinary Director Max Ng said. "Impossible Pork replicates the delicious flavor and juiciness of pork, making it a perfect fit for one of our most iconic dishes."

Following its US debut, the company plans to distribute the new product to more than 100 restaurants in Hong Kong on October 4. Restaurants across the US and Hong Kong will be able to order Impossible Pork beginning this month, providing consumers worldwide with a highly approved plant-based pork substitute.

The company conducted a blind taste test with more than 200 consumers in Hong Kong ahead of its public debut. In the survey, Impossible Pork ranked higher than the animal-based counterpart. The participants recorded that they preferred the plant-based protein 54 percent to 46 percent over the pig-based pork. The taste test evaluated the flavor, texture, purchase intent, appearance, and overall satisfaction of the selected consumers.

“Earlier this month, we beat the animal with the launch of Impossible Chicken Nuggets,” President of Impossible Foods Dennis Woodside said. “With Impossible Pork, we’re beating the animal again while satisfying even more types of cuisine — another important step towards making the global food system much more sustainable.”

Impossible’s new product boasts an enhanced flavor palette and nutritional content. Plant-based pork contains no hormones, no antibiotics, and no gluten. In contrast to a four-ounce serving of conventional animal-based pork, the plant-based alternative contains 37 percent fewer calories, 59 percent less fat, and 36 percent less saturated fat. The plant-based pork product is intended to replicate the taste and texture of traditional pork products with additional health benefits.

Beyond its nutritional benefits, Impossible Foods also claims that the new protein alternative is highly sustainable. According to an ISO conforming Life Cycle Assessment, Impossible’s new vegan pork uses approximately 85 percent less water and between 66 and 82 percent less land than animal-based pork production. Manufacturing also produces between 73 and 77 percent less greenhouse gas emissions.

Originally revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES20) last year, the Impossible Pork is currently available at three restaurants across the United States, expecting to eventually expand across the entire foodservice sector. Both Nice Day Chinese in New York City and Asian Box in California unveiled new menu items that feature vegan protein.

In Hong Kong, chef May Chow – the renowned chef that first served the Impossible Burger in 2018 when it arrived in the region –– will debut new and innovative dishes that feature the Impossible Pork. The chef announced that pork is integral to the cuisines of the region, making the plant-based pork alternative an essential product for many of her own restaurants and others. The chef will incorporate the plant-based pork at her restaurant Little Bao, preparing a Tawainese LuRou Scotch Egg as well as a Happy Paradise complete with Impossible Dan Dan Noodles.

“Minced pork is central to so many classic Chinese recipes from dumplings to spring rolls to dan dan noodles, Chow said. “I’m thrilled we now have a more sustainable alternative that does not compromise on the original diversity, deliciousness, and depth of everyone’s favorite recipes.”

Impossible is preparing to distribute the Impossible Pork across the United States and Southeast Asia. The US foodservice sector now has full access to the plant-based pork product, meaning that traditionally meat-heavy cuisines can begin introducing plant-based alternatives to favorite dishes. Beyond that, several restaurants in Singapore and Hong Kong are preparing to introduce plant-based protein that will allow restaurants and consumers to easily adopt plant-based foods.

Fast-food restaurants have finally got the memo that their customer base isn’t just coming through for a burger, fried chicken, or a beef taco. Many now have plant-based foods and are coming up with creative, delicious ways to get more greens on the menu. Here are the 6 best fast-food chains with plant-based options on the menu.

1. Burger King

Turns out there’s a lot more to rely on than a salad if you’re eating plant-based. Burger King has the Impossible Whopper featuring a meatless patty as well as a few secretly vegan options such as the French Toast Sticks and Hashbrowns.

2. White Castle

Known for its mini square-shaped sliders, this hamburger chain jumped on the plant-based bandwagon at some participating locations. You can find an Impossible Slider on some White Castle menus.

3. Del Taco

This was the first national Mexican fast-food chain to offer Beyond Meat at the company’s 580 restaurants across the country. Del Taco has the Beyond Avocado Taco on the menu along with the Epic Beyond Original Mex Burrito and Avocado Veggie Bowl.

4. Carl's Jr.

Another brand synonymous with beef burgers, Carl’s Jr. offers several plant-based options for veggie and plant lover such as Beyond Famous Star Burger and Guacamole Thickburger.

5. Taco Bell

This fast-food restaurant may have been one of the first you frequented while transitioning to plant-based eating. That’s because Taco Bell has eight million vegetarian combinations and sells 350 million vegetarian items a year through menu substitutions or ordering off their vegetarian menu. In fact, they were the first quick-service restaurant to offer American Vegetarian Association (AVA) certified food options.

6. Starbucks

From the time it started offering breakfast sandwiches in 2006, the coffee conglomerate became a competitor in the fast-food space. You can get your favorite hot and cold beverages made with almond, coconut or oat milk but there are also plant-based food options available such as the Baja Black Bean Veggie Wrap, bagel with vegan cream cheese and Impossible Breakfast Sandwich.