Impossible Foods heads for school cafeterias

17 May 2021

Impossible Foods will be “widely entering” school breakfast and lunch programs in the fall of 2021, the company announced in a release. This foray into the public school system was made possible following Impossible Foods’ acquisition of the Child Nutrition Label from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in April.

Child Nutrition Labels are voluntary food crediting statements that determine how much a particular food contributes to federal meal pattern requirements for nutritionally balanced meals for children. These labels are used by schools that participate in federally-funded lunch programs, which Impossible Foods is now eligible for.

Impossible Foods heads for school cafeterias
Courtesy of Impossible Foods

Already, the California company has begun to pilot the use of its plant-based protein in school districts in California, Washington and Oklahoma. In the program, participating schools are offering dishes on their menus, including Impossible street tacos, Impossible Frito pie and spaghetti with Impossible meat sauce. Furthermore, Food Navigator reported that the plant-based protein company has struck deals with private and charter schools across the U.S.

“Making Impossible products available everywhere people consume meat, which for kids often includes schools, is key to the mission of the company,” said Pat Brown, CEO and Founder of Impossible Foods in a statement.

Making its products available everywhere is a mission that the company is diligently working to fulfill. In recent months, Impossible Foods has put substantial effort toward its expansion efforts. Last July, the plant-based burger company announced it would be available in 2,100 Walmart stores across the country just days after it revealed its partnership with Trader Joe’s for nationwide retail sales. Between April and July of last year, the number of retail locations at which Impossible products were available expanded by eight times.

Stepping into the school lunch market gives the company yet another opportunity to dominate a distribution channel where plant-based meat has made little headway. Although 230 school districts in the U.S. are listed as Meatless Monday participants and processed meat has fallen out of favor with those planning school lunches, there have been few replacement solutions for the animal protein that has been taken off the menu. Should Impossible Foods expand its pilot program into full-fledged partnerships, there will be a large market into which to introduce its products. In the U.S. school served 5 billion lunches and 2.4 billion breakfasts in 2019, per USDA data.

While sizeable, selling to school districts to generate an additional revenue stream is only part of the appeal of entering school cafeterias. If Impossible Foods is able to introduce its products to children early, it has a chance to familiarize children with the flavor of its plant-based protein products and turn them into life-long consumers.

Related news

Brazil sets official definition of ‘whole grain’

Brazil sets official definition of ‘whole grain’

10 May 2021

Products must contain at least 30% whole grain ingredients to use a whole grain claim in Brazil, under new rules.

Read more 
Protein companies to improve human health though tackling animal disease

Protein companies to improve human health though tackling animal disease

30 Apr 2021

Cargill, Ausvet, Heifer International and the International Poultry Council (IPC) have formed a consortium sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to improve livestock management and combat the threat of zoonotic dis...

Read more 
Traffic light labels to become mandatory in UAE in under one year

Traffic light labels to become mandatory in UAE in under one year

1 Apr 2021

Packaged food manufacturers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are getting ready for a front-of-pack traffic light nutrition label, which will become mandatory in January next year.

Read more 
Imperfect Foods plans for net-zero carbon emissions by 2030

Imperfect Foods plans for net-zero carbon emissions by 2030

25 Mar 2021

Online grocer Imperfect Foods announced that by 2030, it will be a net-zero carbon company that has saved 1 billion pounds of food from waste. Successfully meeting this goal would put Imperfect Foods 10 years ahead of other major retailers striving for...

Read more 
Seven European countries advocate for Nutri-Score on packaging

Seven European countries advocate for Nutri-Score on packaging

23 Feb 2021

Out of the 40 countries that comprise Europe, seven have now joined forces to promote the use of the Nutri-Score system as the standard front-of-pack (FOP) labeling for products sold across the EU. Supporting countries include France, Belgium, Germany,...

Read more 
Unilever promises living wages to suppliers' employees

Unilever promises living wages to suppliers' employees

1 Feb 2021

In its effort to create a “more equitable and inclusive society” Unilever is committing to a new set of corporate goals, including ensuring that by 2030, all employees of suppliers that directly provide goods and services to earn a living wage or incom...

Read more 
Montanya Distillers goes plastic neutral

Montanya Distillers goes plastic neutral

27 Jan 2021

Concerns about sustainability and package waste have driven manufacturers to look for alternatives to plastic. Montanya Distillers, a craft rum distillery and Certified B Corporation, is the latest participant in this movement, but the company has take...

Read more 
Europe looks to encourage insect consumption

Europe looks to encourage insect consumption

18 Jan 2021

Mealworm burgers may soon be on the menu as the European Food Safety Authority recently approved yellow mealworms as safe for human consumption. This determination is expected to lead to EU-wide approval of the insect as fit for sale across the contine...

Read more 
USDA expands its definition of nitrates

USDA expands its definition of nitrates

15 Jan 2021

The Food Safety and Inspection Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will expand the definition of nitrates in May 2021 to prohibit products using any source of nitrates from using the statements “No Nitrate or Nitrite Added” and “Uncured....

Read more 
Belgium is officially declared free from African Swine Fever

Belgium is officially declared free from African Swine Fever

14 Jan 2021

Belgium officially earned a new status from the World Organization of Animal Health confirming the country is free from African Swine Fever (ASF). This updated status is the first time since September 2018 that the country has officially been declared ...

Read more