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Impossible Foods Abandons Romantic Pursuit of McDonald’s [Updated]

Plus, Michigan diners flock to support a woman whose ex sabotaged her restaurant, and more news to start your day

An Impossible burger cut half open and in a person’s hands.
Impossible Foods has abandoned its pursuit of McDonald’s for the time being.
Photo: Impossible Foods

Impossible Foods just wants some time to focus on itself right now, okay?

Impossible Foods, the maker of plant-based beef patties (and now pork), is no longer trying to woo McDonald’s into serving its meatless burgers, Reuters reports. The issue apparently comes down to supply: the alternative meat startup can’t produce enough patties to partner with the world’s top fast-food chain.

“[I]t would be stupid for us to be vying for them right now,” Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown said in an interview with Reuters. “Having more big customers right now doesn’t do us any good until we scale up production.” According to Brown, instead of trying to land the colossal McDonald’s deal, the company is currently working to more than double production.

Courting fast-food chains has been a critical part of Impossible Foods’ and rival Beyond Meat’s strategy to bring their plant-based wares to mass market. Impossible Foods partnered with Burger King last year to launch a soy-based Whopper nationwide, to continued success. Beyond Meat, meanwhile, has already teamed up with McDonald’s to test a pea-protein burger in Canada; McDonald’s announced on Wednesday that the trial would be expanding to 52 restaurants, signaling that if McDonald’s were to go all-in on plant-based, it might go with Beyond Meat.

Beyond Meat, on its part, is eager for the deal. “We would have to work with them on timing but, yes, we would be able to meet their demand globally,” the company’s chief growth officer Chuck Muth told Reuters.

Update: January 9, 2020, 10:25 a.m.: Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown, in a subsequent interview with Insider, denied abandoning pursuit of a potential deal with McDonald’s. A company spokesperson told Bloomberg that Brown’s comments to Reuters had been misinterpreted. “We’re very deliberate in how we approach customers but we would never blow off or disrespect a potential customer and any suggestion that we would do that is complete nonsense,” Brown said to Insider.

And in other news…

  • The hard seltzer trend has swung back around to hard lemonade, this time with bubbles. [Thrillist]
  • Marc Veyrat, the French chef who lost his legal fight against Michelin over a demotion in stars, is appealing the court’s decision. [France 24]
  • FlexPro Meals, a Kansas City-based meal delivery service, has been accused of repackaging other brands’ frozen foods, using stock photos to illustrate its website’s menu items, and sending customers meals with mold or flies or otherwise gross stuff on it. IDK, FlexPro — as Victor Hugo once penned, “The wise man is he who knows when and how to stop.” [Vice]
  • A Lansing, Michigan, restaurant owner’s ex-boyfriend sabotaged her business by telling customers who called the restaurant’s main phone number that it was closed. Now, fans are flocking to the restaurant to show their support. [Detroit Free Press]
  • The latest addition to the Girl Scout Cookies lineup is the “Lemon-Up,” a crispy wafer stamped with positive messages. [CNN]
  • There’s a new app aims to trace your coffee’s origins through the use of blockchain technology. [Food & Wine]
  • How much could a stupid question cost you at Denver restaurant Tom’s Diner? 38 cents, apparently. [Reddit]
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