Inside the California factory that manufactures 1 million pounds of fake 'meat' per month

Impossible Foods opens new Oakland factory

On the outside, Impossible Foods' new manufacturing plant in Oakland, California, looks like all of the other nondescript warehouses bordering the massive building.

But inside, company founder Pat Brown believes a revolution is happening.

Brown, a former Stanford biochemist, used his scientific background to create fake "meat" using the active ingredient soy leghemoglobin, which he says makes the burger appealing to meat lovers.

"We're targeting only exclusively meat lovers," Brown said. "Those are the only ones we care about."

The venture-backed company recently received $75 million in funding and is backed by some of Silicon Valley's top investors, including Alphabet's GV (formerly Google Ventures), Bill Gates and Khosla Ventures. The plant makes 1 million pounds of "meat" every month — 250 times the volume the company was producing before.

The company says demand for the burgers is as red-hot as the burgers. The Impossible Burger is in 50 restaurants across the U.S., including Umami Burger and Momufuku. Company officials say foot traffic at some of those restaurants have increased 130 percent because of the Impossible Burger.

Impossible Foods' success highlights the growth of the alternative proteins market, as companies like Clara Foods, Kite Hill and Beyond Meat have raised significant funding, according to CB Insights.

Brown has bigger plans. Ultimately, he hopes to create more food alternatives in the lab, including fish, eggs and dairy.

"Our mission is to completely replace animals in the food system," he said.

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