Impossible Foods CEO Patrick Brown said the launch of the Impossible Burger in Walmart is a "very significant step" for the company, as the discount retailer is the biggest seller of meat in the U.S.
"Walmart is the largest food retailer in the world," Brown said Thursday on "Closing Bell." "It has a huge presence — 90% of the U.S. population lives within a mile of a Walmart store."
Brown said the partnership is exactly the kind the company wants, especially considering Walmart's commitment to sustainability. The launch brings Impossible to more than 2,000 stores in all 50 states, as well as on the Walmart website and app.
The partnership boosts the vegan burger's availability to more than 8,000 retail locations nationwide, as the company's retail footprint has become 50 times larger than it was six months ago. Impossible's rival Beyond Meat is already available in retailers such as Kroger.
Brown said he does not view the two companies in competition with each other and he wishes Beyond luck in their business. Instead, he said both companies are competing against the meat industry. He described Impossible Foods' mission as completely replacing the need for animals in the food system.
More than 90% of Impossible customers are current meat consumers, Brown said, meaning purchases largely come from customers selecting its product as an alternative to meat. With this in mind, Brown said he was happy the product will be sold in the meat aisle of stores so it can be where buyers are looking.
"I think we're going to see, with the disruption of the meat industry, more first-time buyers that are looking elsewhere for their meat," he said. "It's very sticky. A majority of them become repeat customers."