IMPOSSIBLE FOODS HOLDS MIDDLE EAST LAUNCH AT DUBAI EXPO

Impossible Foods, the American alternative meat producer, has begun selling its products in the Middle East – and it chose Expo 2020 Dubai for the launch.

The California-based company’s plant-based meat substitutes are available at the US pavilion at the world expo and are being rolled out at restaurants in Dubai.

Impossible Foods’ expansion into the Middle East is the latest example of alternative meat and cultured meat becoming more widely available, driven by animal welfare and environmental concerns.

In a statement, Dennis Woodside, the president of Impossible Foods and a former Google and Dropbox executive, said the company’s products were “made for every cuisine and culture”.

“We couldn’t be more excited to launch in our first market in the Middle East,” he said. “The United Arab Emirates’ status as a global travel and culinary hub will enable a whole new region of consumers to experience Impossible Burger for the first time.”

As well as being available at the world expo, which runs until the end of March next year, the company’s foods will be on the menu at several the Dubai restaurants Sticky Rice, Akira Back, The Maine Oyster Bar and Grill, and Pickl.

In its statement, Impossible Foods described its “flagship product”, the Impossible Burger, as being halal, kosher and gluten-free.

IMPOSSIBLE FOODS HOLDS MIDDLE EAST LAUNCH AT DUBAI EXPO

Impossible Foods said that it wanted “to transform the global food system in order to feed the world sustainably”, with its products said to have only a modest environmental impact.

“By creating delicious, nutritious, affordable and craveable meat from plants, we enable people everywhere to make food choices that are tasty and better for the planet,” the company said.

According to the company, its products use “far fewer environmental resources” than traditional meat. Compared to beef from US-raised cows, production of its Impossible Burgers uses 96% less land, 87% less water and creates 89% fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Impossible Foods additionally trumpets the health benefits of its flagship burger, which it said contained no cholesterol and 14g of fat in total, of which 8g is saturated. The total calorie content is 240.

“Impossible Burger also contains no animal hormones or antibiotics, and it has as much protein and bioavailable iron as a comparable serving of ground beef from cows,” the company said.

Other foods produced by the company include meatballs, pizza, tacos and empanadas.

Technological advancements are enabling companies to produce alternative meats that are more meat-like than was possible before.

IMPOSSIBLE FOODS HOLDS MIDDLE EAST LAUNCH AT DUBAI EXPO

Growth in sales could partly offset the global increase in meat consumption that is forecast as developing countries become wealthier and demand for animal protein increases.

Impossible Foods, which remains privately owned, was founded in 2011 by its current CEO, Professor Patrick Brown, a professor emeritus of biochemistry at Stanford University School of Medicine in the United States.

As reported widely by Sial Paris Newsroom over the past several months, alternative meats and cultured meats are enjoying a widespread global rollout, with start-ups in the sector attracting significant amounts of investment.

Next Meats, based in Tokyo, which produced what are said to be the first ever plant-based barbecue meats, as well as a beef product, said recently that it was adding pork, tuna and milk to its list of foodstuffs.

Other developments include Aleph Farms, an Israeli company that produces steaks from animal cells, signing memorandums of understanding with two major Asian companies, Thai Union and CJ CheilJedang of South Korea.

The list of fast-growing companies in the sector also includes Gourmey, a Paris-based cultivated meat company, which secured $10 million in its latest seed funding round.

Gourmey has focused on the production of cultivated foie gras, sales of which it hopes to begin late next year or in early 2023.

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