Among other tweaks, the new version is now billed as more versatile for home cooks.

By Mike Pomranz
January 08, 2019
Courtesy of Impossible Foods

Part of what sets the modern wave of plant-based burger brands apart from the veggie burgers of old isn’t just their dedication to using science to create a more realistic meat alternative, but their acknowledgment that this science and the resulting products are a work in progress. For example, Beyond Burger made headlines by launching at Carl’s Jr., but what many people may not have realized is that this latest rollout featured a newer iteration of the brand’s planted-based patty. Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat’s main rival, has a similar fluid approach, and today, the brand announced it too was launching a “2.0” version of its signature plant-based patty, the Impossible Burger.

Though Impossible Foods’ big selling point has always been its ability to mimic meat, this “next-generation” Impossible Burger “2.0” — which the company bills as its “first major product upgrade” since the patty debuted in 2016 — also includes what feels like the fake meat equivalent of “bug fixes.” The updated recipe now boasts no gluten (trading a wheat protein for a soy one), as well as “0 mg cholesterol and as much iron and protein as conventional beef from cows.”

“The newest Impossible Burger delivers everything that matters to hard-core meat lovers, including taste, nutrition and versatility,” Impossible Foods’ CEO and Founder Patrick O. Brown said in a statement. “This is the plant-based meat that will eliminate the need for animals in the food chain and make the global food system sustainable.”

Speaking of “versatility,” Impossible Foods is playing up that angle ahead of the burger’s launch in grocery stores later this year. “The original Impossible Burger was custom-designed for flat-top cooking at restaurants,” the brand explained in announcing the changes. “By contrast, the new recipe works in every ground meat dish, from dumplings to sloppy joes. It can be steamed, seared or sizzled on slats over an open flame. It retains its texture and juiciness throughout the cooking process.”

But for those who want to try the latest in meat-free technology sooner, Impossible Burger 2.0 is hitting restaurants as soon as today. Though the burger will first land at about 18 more upmarket eateries featuring some of “America’s most influential chefs” — places like Saxon + Parole in New York City and Crossroads Kitchen in Los Angeles — the new recipe will be at “better burger” chains (including Umami Burger, Bareburger, Wahlburgers, The Counter, Hopdoddy, Fatburger and Gott’s) as early as next week before arriving at Impossible Foods largest partner, White Castle, early next month.

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