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Not Right Time To Go Public For Alt-Meat Firms, Says Impossible CEO

Not Right Time To Go Public For Alt-Meat Firms, Says Impossible CEO
The United States based alternative meat company Impossible Foods is does not have any immediate plans to list itself publicly, said the company’s CEO Pat Brown in a television interview.
“Right now, I think it’s not the right time for us to go public the Exchange,” ” Brown said,
The uses soy leghemoglobin — or heme — as a color additive to make a plant-based burger after genetically engineers yeast to create heme which is the iron containing molecule which delivers the taste and aroma of animal meat.
The number of people seeking to bring down the amount of meat in their diets for health and environmental reasons is rising which is driving the popularity of the alternative plant-based meat products. The growing demand at times has even resulted in Impossible not being able to meet demands.
“We’ve been very lucky to have great investors. No shortage of great investors when we need money to support our growth. From a financial standpoint, there is no urgency to go public,” Brown said.
The issue of supply not being able to meet up with the demands was also discussed by Brown. “As soon as we realized that the demand was outpacing our supply, we scrambled to scale our production at our site in Oakland. We have increased a production at our [Oakland plant] more than three-folds in the past two or three months. We have doubled our staffing there.”
He said that the company would get help to increase production from its partnership with OSI Group, a large meat manufacturer and supplier for fast-food chains. “I think we’ve figured out a solution to the problem and have caught up with the demand. I think our restaurant customers can have confidence that we’ll be able to supply them from now on without a break,” he said.
Starting August 8, plant-based Whopper burger from Impossible Foods would be launched throughout the United States by Burger King, said Restaurant Brands International earlier on Thursday.
Testing of the Impossible Whopper had been conducted by the fast food giant in April in St. Louis in the US. And following growing demand, it has now expanded the sale of the plant-based burger to six more markets.
“We are extremely confident that we’ll be able to supply all the demand that Burger King has and the growing number of other restaurants,” Brown said.
Starting September, the alternatives meat based products of Impossible will also be available at grocery stores. The US Food and Drug Administration approved its key color ingredient soy leghemoglobin, the company had announced on Thursday.
Notwithstanding Brown’s views about going public, the stock price of its rival Beyond Meat, which went public in May this year, now is trading at 600 per cent higher than the IPO price despite falling significantly on Thursday. According to analysts, both speculative trading and interest in the category has driven the price of stocks of Beyond Meat.
However the competition with Beyond is not considered ot be an issue by Brown. “Between Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, we share less than 1% of the U.S. market for ground beef,” he said. “The other 99% is still out there and it would be crazy for us to focus on Beyond Meat as the competition. We’re focused on the other 99%.”

Christopher J. Mitchell

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