- The Impossible Burger has been declared the "official burger" of the NHL's Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, where it will compete with local favorites like Ballard Pizza Company and Lil Woody's Burgers & Shakes, as well as former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal's Big Chicken chain.
- Two of the marketplaces in the arena serve a variety of Impossible Foods items created for service there, including street tacos and chili fries. Impossible's burgers and chicken nuggets are also be served at those locations and elsewhere in the venue.
- This expansion comes as diner demand for and restaurant interest in plant-based meat analogues grows. McDonald's will begin testing its McPlant burger offering — made in partnership with Impossible rival Beyond Meat — at eight restaurants starting Nov. 3, for example.
Impossible Foods' partnership with the Seattle Kraken puts the plant-based meat maker in position to capitalize on the high traffic at Climate Pledge Arena. The Seattle venue is expected to become the second busiest concert venue in the United States, second only to Madison Square Garden, according to a press release.
The Impossible Foods stands, which are operated by the arena, have proven extremely popular in their first weeks of operation, Impossible Foods said. The company did not provide precise sales estimates at the locations.
"Our products have been sold at many other stadiums and sports venues over the years, including most recently at Dodgers Stadium, Staples Center, Wrigley Field, T-Mobile Arena and many others," the company said.
The Impossible Burger made its professional sports arena debut at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum in 2018, the company said. According to the press release, Impossible Foods products offer stadiums a way to improve sustainability, by cutting down on carbon-intensive products like red meat and chicken.
A growing contingent of traditional restaurants are betting on Impossible Foods' products, as well. In September, the company announced its Impossible Chicken Nuggets launched across a number of U.S. eateries.
This could help the company bounce back from McDonald's decision to work with Beyond Meat to develop its McPlant line, which will eventually include plant-based chicken and breakfast sandwich offerings. The Golden Arches previously courted Impossible as a plant-based collaborator.
Still, the plant-based giant benefits from partnerships with major chains including Wendy's and Burger King. Mid-sized chains like In-N-Out and Five Guys still provide white space for plant-based manufacturers to expand, experts say, but it may not be the best investment for restaurants. Early adopters of plant-based meat have begun to lower prices for these menu items because demand has softened as the shine of these new items wears off. The McPlant test — as well as Impossible Foods' standalone food stands in Seattle — could provide a litmus test for where diner demand stands in 2021.