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Impossible says sausage is available to all US restaurants

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Impossible Foods Inc will make its meatless sausage available nationwide, ratcheting up the competition with Beyond Meat Inc as the coronavirus pandemic roils meat supply chains across the country.

[NEW YORK] Impossible Foods Inc will make its meatless sausage available nationwide, ratcheting up the competition with Beyond Meat Inc as the coronavirus pandemic roils meat supply chains across the country.

The pre-cooked sausage patties, which Impossible debuted earlier this year, are now available to all US restaurants and are sold through major food distributors such as Dot Foods Inc and Sysco Corp, the company said Monday in a statement. They were already sold at over 20,000 locations, including Burger King and Starbucks Corp.

After the success of plant-based burgers in recent years, sausage has become a new frontier for faux-meat makers, who are capitalising on shortages of beef and pork during the pandemic to attract new customers cooking at home. Sales of plant-based meat products surged 264 per cent in the US in the early months of lockdown, even as restaurants shut their doors and consumer spending fell.

"Covid hit, and America completely changed its food buying and dining habits," Rachel Konrad, Impossible's chief communications officer, said in an interview. The company's restaurant sales have picked up recently, she said, and its burgers are now sold in about 5,000 US grocery stores, up from 150 in early March.

Impossible has moved quickly to bring its sausage to market. The restaurant expansion comes about a week after the company announced a partnership with Starbucks to add an Impossible breakfast sandwich to the coffee shop's US menu.

Rival Beyond Meat, which has its own partnership agreements with Starbucks in China and Canada, began selling its sausage in retailers at the end of March.

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