Impossible Foods Stock and IPO: What You Need To Know

Impossible Foods is trying to change how we eat one burger at a time. But is it a good way to invest in the plant-based trend?

Ben Carson   Updated February 4th, 2022

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What is Impossible Foods?

Impossible Foods makes plant-based burgers, sausages, chicken nuggets, meatballs, and pork. The company was launched in 2011 by a Stanford biochemistry professor, Pat Brown, who was worried about meat and climate change. Impossible Foods is based in Redwood City, California.

Everyone else has taken notice, too. U.S. plant-based sales hit $7 billion in 2020, according to the Good Food Institute. One report even projects that the plant-based meat market can reach $450 billion by 2040.

Impossible Foods’ first product was the Impossible Burger, which includes soy-derived heme. It is heme that gives the burger the taste and smell of meat. Unlike veggie burgers, Impossible Burgers taste like meat, appealing to meat-lovers and flexitarians. However, genetically modified heme has kept Impossible Foods from the tables of the European Union and China, where it is not approved.

Impossible Foods meats are sold at 22,000 grocery stores and 40,000 restaurants globally, including Burger King and Starbucks. This is huge growth from only 150 stores in early 2020. Impossible Foods and other faux meat manufacturers got a boost during the pandemic when people eating at home got to try plant-based products.

When will Impossible Foods IPO?

Impossible Foods hasn’t officially announced plans to be publicly traded. But, in early 2021, Reuters reported that Impossible Foods was angling to go public at a $10 billion valuation. Impossible Foods’ CEO even told Forbes that he wanted regular investors to participate in the company’s success.

Yet the IPO never took place. We wouldn’t be surprised if the recent stock performance of Impossible Foods’ main competitor, Beyond Meat, is to blame. And market volatility in early 2022 has not helped. Instead, Impossible Foods raised $500 million from venture capital investors in November 2021. In total, the company has raised $2 billion since 2011.

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How to buy Impossible Foods stock?

Even though Impossible Foods isn’t public, you may still be able to invest.

Platforms like EquityZen let you buy shares in pre-IPO companies. These platforms connect employees who want to sell shares with investors who otherwise can’t invest. It’s a way for employees to monetize their shares and diversify their net worth.

However, Equity Zen is for accredited investors only. To quality, you need to earn at least $200,000 a year for two years and expect the same this year, or your net worth, excluding your primary residence, must exceed $1 million. On top of that, the employees selling the shares know more about the company and its prospects than you do.

🔔 Learn how to invest in pre-IPO shares.

Should you worry about competition?

Competition from meat processors like Tyson and retailer private labels is heating up. Well-funded startups are entering the market, including LiveKindly Collective and Daring Foods. Both Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat slashed prices in early 2021.

And there are even startups like Future Meat that are growing real meat from cells. Although lab-grown meat is an early-stage technology, it can disrupt the entire market. Cultured meat is real meat that doesn’t kill animals.

🔔 Looking for lab-grown meat investments?  Check out this list of cultured meat stocks.

Impossible Foods stock alternatives

Beyond Meat (BYND), which IPO’d in 2019, is the best known alternative to Impossible Foods.

In fact, Beyond Meat is the market leader, sold at 128,000 worldwide locations, including 34,000 U.S. grocery stores (vs. Impossible Foods’ 22,000). BYND has a much larger international presence, as well as partnerships with McDonald’s and Yum Brands, which includes KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell. And BYND can sell to China and the European Union, which bar Impossible Foods.

BYND shares soared 163% on the first day of trading. However, after that, growth slowed and the stock dropped from $235 to $56 a share. It looks like Beyond Meat is losing share to Impossible Foods. So maybe you should wait for the Impossible Foods IPO to invest.

🔔 Looking for other plant-based investments?  Check out vegan stocks and vegan ETFs.

NOT INVESTMENT ADVICE. The content is for informational purposes only; you should not construe any such information as investment advice.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the stock symbol for Impossible Foods?

Impossible Foods doesn’t have a stock symbol because it isn’t (yet) publicly traded.