The Impossible Burger will debut today at Houlihan’s Restaurant + Bar outlets nationwide.
Houlihan’s is known for its made-from-scratch menu items and popular happy hours featuring craft cocktails, beer, wine and their signature Long Island Iced Tea. Houlihan’s 68 outlets are primarily throughout the Midwest and the eastern U.S. and comprise the largest brand within Houlihan’s Restaurants Inc. (HRI), a diversified restaurant company based in Leawood, Kan.
“Since 1972, Houlihan’s has been tracking the most significant shifts in American eating and dining habits — from seasonal menus to leveraging trends our guests enjoy. That’s why we wanted to be the first full-service concept to feature the Impossible Burger at outlets nationwide,” said Michael Archer, chief executive officer of HRI. “Houlihan’s customers are asking for the Impossible Burger by name, and we’re happy to give them exactly what they want.”
Houlihan’s will serve the Impossible Burger with cheddar, special sauce, lettuce, and tomato on a brioche bun. The Impossible Burger will be $11.50 and served with french fries.
Big Taste, Small Footprint
In development since 2011, the Impossible Burger debuted in July 2016 at Chef David Chang’s Momofuku Nishi in Manhattan. The Impossible Burger is the only plant-based burger to win a 2017 Tasty Award and a 2018 Fabi Award from the National Restaurant Association, and it’s beefing up sales at restaurants nationwide.
The Impossible Burger is now available in nearly 2,000 restaurants nationwide, including beloved “better burger” concepts Fatburger, Umami Burger, Hopdoddy, The Counter, and B Spot, the Midwest burger restaurant owned by Chef Michael Symon. White Castle is currently the largest single restaurant group to serve Impossible Foods’ flagship product, with the $1.99 Impossible Slider featured at 140 outlets.
Impossible Foods launched production in September at its first large-scale manufacturing plant, in Oakland, Calif. With demand still outstripping supply, the company is now hiring for a second shift to double production this summer. Just last month, Impossible Foods launched in Asia — its first market outside the United States.
The Impossible Burger is made from simple ingredients, including water, wheat protein, potato protein and coconut oil. One special ingredient — heme — contributes to the characteristic taste of meat and catalyzes all the other flavours when meat is cooked.
Impossible Foods discovered a scalable, affordable way to make heme without animals: The company engineers and ferments yeast to produce a heme protein naturally found in plants, called soy leghemoglobin. The heme in the Impossible Burger is identical to the essential heme humans have been consuming for hundreds of thousands of years in meat — and while it delivers all the craveable depth of beef, it uses far fewer resources.
The Impossible Burger is produced without hormones, antibiotics, cholesterol or artificial flavours. It uses about 75% less water, generates about 87% fewer greenhouse gases, and requires around 95% less land than conventional ground beef from cows.