After receiving approval from the Food and Drug Administration, Impossible Foods has cleared the last regulatory hurdle it faced to rolling out in grocery stores.
The company is targeting a September release of Impossible products to join its competitor Beyond Meat on grocery store shelves.
The news comes as the company said it inked a major supply agreement with the OSI Group, a food processing company, to increase the availability of its Impossible Burger.
Impossible Foods has been facing shortages of its product, which it can’t make fast enough to meet growing customer demand.
The supply constraints have been especially acute as the company inks more deals with fast food vendors like Burger King, White Castle and Qdoba to supply its Impossible protein patty and ground meal to a growing number of outlets.
Impossible Foods products are now served in more than 10,000 locations around the world.
Earlier this year, the company hired Dennis Woodside and Sheetal Shah to scale up its manufacturing operations and help manage its growth into international markets. The company began selling its product in Singapore earlier this summer.
May not only saw new executives joining the Impossible team, but a new capital infusion as well. Impossible Foods picked up $300 million in financing from investors, including Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates, Google Ventures, Horizons Ventures, UBS, Viking Global Investors, Temasek, Sailing Capital and Open Philanthropy Project.
With the new FDA approval, Impossible Foods will now be able to go head to head with its chief rival, Beyond Meat. The regulatory approval will also help to dispel questions that have swirled around the safety of its innovative soy leghemoglobin that have persisted since the company began its expansion across the U.S.
Last July, the company received a no-questions letter from the FDA, which confirmed that the company’s heme was safe to eat, according to a panel of food-safety experts.
The remaining obstacle for the company was whether or not the company’s “heme” could be considered a color additive. That approval — the use of heme as a color additive — is what the FDA announced today.
“We’ve been engaging with the FDA for half a decade to ensure that we are completely compliant with all food-safety regulations — for the Impossible Burger and for future products and sales channels,” said Impossible Foods Chief Legal Officer Dana Wagner. “We have deep respect for the FDA as champion of U.S. food safety, and we’ve always gone above and beyond to comply with every food-safety regulation and to provide maximum transparency about our ingredients so that our customers can have 100% confidence in our product.”