The alternative protein scene in Asia is booming and to prove it, award-winning Impossible Foods is launching in grocery stores across Hong Kong and Singapore this week. Home chefs; rejoice!
Since launching in 2011, Impossible Foods has been on a mission to end the global animal agriculture industry, intending to make it obsolete by 2035. Following successful launches across the restaurant sector in both HK (where it is available in approximately 700 restaurants) and Singapore (where it is available in around 550 restaurants), the food tech company has accelerated its expansion to target budding home chefs. (And quite frankly, we’re buzzing; Impossible is effing delicious and we can’t wait to throw it into our favourite recipes at home.)
Starting this week, Impossible Beef will be available online and at nearly 100 PARKnSHOP stores across Hong Kong, retailing at $HK88.90 for 340g. While in Singapore, it will roll out across 100 NTUC FairPrice stores and be available online via RedMart, retailing at SG$16.90.
Impossible is one of America’s fastest-growing brands and the leading driver of overall growth in the plant-based food category. Following its initial successful launch in US grocery stores, which has seen its retail footprint expand by more than 70X in the past six months, Asia became an obvious choice for the brand’s next consumer launch.
Why? Impossible identifies meat from animals as its direct competitor. Nick Halla, Senior Vice President International, says: “If you look at meat consumption globally, 44% of meat is consumed in Asia, and it’s growing quickly” and to reverse this trend, “we have to tackle the Asian markets.”
Due to COVID-19 and its disastrous impact on the restaurant sector (which accounted for 95% of Impossible’s business in food service), it pivoted quickly to accelerate its direct to consumer launch in Hong Kong and Singapore. Following a successful trial allowing restaurant partners to sell Impossible to consumers earlier this year, the launch in grocery stores was the next logical step. A further launch in mainland China is also expected within the next 12 months.
The environmental and health impact of a plant-based transformation
The environmental gains of switching to Impossible are compelling. According to Dr Pat Brown, Impossible CEO & Founder: “People underestimate the greenhouse gas footprint (of meat)”, stating “if you replace 1kg of beef from a cow with 1kg of Impossible Beef, the savings in greenhouse gas emissions is the equivalent of what’s emitted by flying for three hundred miles in a passenger jet”. What’s more, Impossible Beef uses 96% less land, 87% less water, and 89% fewer greenhouse gas emissions to produce in comparison to conventional beef from cows.
Unlike some other alternative proteins, Impossible’s target consumers are meat-eaters. Making it the perfect substitute to encourage die-hard carnivores to experiment with a more planet-friendly protein. In terms of flavour profile, it cooks just like ground beef (and arguably tastes better, no jokes) but is nutritionally healthier. A 4-ounce serving of Impossible Beef contains 19g of protein, 0mg of cholesterol, 14g of total fat, 8g of saturated fat and 240 calories. While in comparison, the same portion from a cow contains 80mg cholesterol, 23g of total fat, 9g of saturated fat, and 290 calories.
Keen to try it but not sure how to cook it? You can use it any recipe that you would typically use ground meat in—for example, stews, minces, meatballs, and dumplings. And you can even throw it on the BBQ, in your oven, steamer, or frying pan. But if you need more inspiration, check out the Impossible Cookbook (featuring recipes from Andrei Soon of Park Bench Deli and Ricky Leung of Empress in Singapore and May Chow of Little Bao and Que Vinh Dang of NHAU in Hong Kong.)
Help us keep our content free
It seems like you enjoyed our content and are on your way to better understanding how to be more conscious. As you’ll know, we’re on a mission to make sustainability accessible, mainstream and sexy. And we would not be able to do it with you. We would love you to support us even further in our GITNB movement by helping us create even more content to keep inspiring you and the rest of the world. Aside from being able to enjoy even better reads, you’ll also receive a GITNB t-shirt consciously made from upcycled fabrics in partnership with a Cambodian social enterprise supporting women. For a small donation you will make a huge difference.SUPPORT US HERE