Cultural Tree Huggers Push Impossible Foods To $2 Billion Valuation

By CultureBanx Team

  • Impossible Foods raised $300M from investors

  • Serena Williams, Jaden Smith, Trevor Noah and Jay-Z participated in the latest funding round

Plant based meat alternatives company Impossible Foods just got a huge cultural endorsement and money from Serena Williams, Jaden Smith, Trevor Noah and Jay-Z. In its latest funding round they picked up another $300 million from investors with a new valuation of $2 billion, as they aim to completely remove animals from the food system by 2035.

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Why This Matters: Jay Z famously rapped “Difficult takes a day, impossible takes a week” and he along with others figured out in short order how to get in on the vegetable-based faux meat companies cap table. Impossible Foods has deals with big restaurant chains, including Red Robin (RRGB -0.09%), White Castle and Burger King, and it plans to launch in retail stores later this year.

It’s great that so many black cultural trendsetters are putting their money where the mouth is, especially with hypertension and heart disease so common within our community. Nearly 44% of African American men and 48% of African American women have some form of cardiovascular disease that includes heart disease, according to the CDC. The government group notes that one of the ways to control these diseases is through a healthy diet, so perhaps plant based alternatives can help bring these numbers down in the black community.

Sales of plant-based meat alone generated $684 million in 2018

Not only can companies like Impossible Foods have a positive impact on African Americans health, its investors stand to make a lot of money. The Good Food Institute (GFI) reported investment in this space has reached $16 billion over the last decade. Also, supermarket sales of meat alternatives grew 19% to $878 million last year, according to Nielsen data. Even though sales of plant-based meat alone generated $684 million in 2018, it still pales in comparison to the $270 billion in annual U.S. meat industry sales.

Situational Awareness:  Early this month Impossible Food’s biggest competitor Beyond Meat (BYND -3.84%) went public, its shares gained 163% on day one. They now command a market share of $5.1 billion. Not to mention former McDonald’s CEO (MCD -0.39%) Don Thompson’s venture-capital firm Cleveland Avenue was an early investor in Beyond Meat. So be on the lookout for more plant based foods in a neighborhood near you.