The Difference Between Beyond Meat vs Impossible

All the differences and similarities between these two plant-based meat alternatives.

The popularity of plant-based eating seems to be increasing. In response to this, more vegan meat companies are competing with one another by introducing tasty plant-based alternatives to the market. Although some of their products may look similar, they are unique in their own way. 

packages of beyond meat and impossible meat side by side

Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are two prime examples of companies that are dominating the plant-based food industry. Whilst the former focuses on making vegan certified versions of sausages and burger patties, the latter is known for its vegan adaptation of pork and burger patties. 

Both of these companies create meatless foods that are designed to look and taste the same as meat-based products. The burger patties from both brands are now readily available in several fast food establishments.

Upon locating these products on the supermarket shelves, you will discover that their products appear to look the same. However, these companies differ in many ways. We have provided you with all that you need to know about Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger in our article below. 

More About the Companies

Beyond Meat was founded by CEO Ethan Brown in 2009. Their meatless products then entered the retail market a little later in 2013. This brand’s mission is to create great-tasting, plant-based alternatives that have a lot of nutritional value. They aim to encourage consumers to opt for sustainable options whilst reducing their dependence on livestock. Not only does this company target vegans and vegetarians, but also those who flex between meat-based eating and healthier plant-based alternatives. 

Impossible Foods was founded by CEO Patrick O’Reilly Brown in 2011. Though this company may have existed for less time than Beyond Meat, it shares a similar vision. Their mission is to reduce the need to use animals for food. Instead, they make foods that are free from meat, dairy, and fish.

Despite sharing the same surname, there is no relation between the CEO of Beyond Meat and the CEO of Impossible Foods.

What Plant-Based Foods Do They Make?

Perhaps one of the most noticeable differences between the two companies can be identified in their product range. Beyond Meat makes juicy marbled burgers as well as ground beef and beef crumbles which can be added to pasta, tacos, and chili. Moreover, they also make breakfast sausage patties, meatballs, and original, hot Italian or sweet Italian sausages. 

The Impossible Foods products range does not yet consist of as many items. Along with their burger patties, they also make sausages and chicken nuggets. They are still in the process of creating a bacon product.

What’s in the Patties?

Beyond Meat uses a simple mixture of ingredients to make their patties. This consists of pea protein, water, rice protein, refined coconut oil, and canola oil to make their patties. Seasonings are then used to enhance the flavor. None of the ingredients are genetically modified and they are free of gluten and soy. You can visit their website to find the exact list of ingredients for each of the products in their range.

The Impossible Foods patties are made from soy protein concentrate, sunflower oil, coconut oil, potato protein, water, yeast extract, salt, methylcellulose, gums, and additives. Impossible patties also contain an ingredient called Hem which creates a meat-like flavor. Unlike Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods do use genetically modified ingredients in their products. Again, you can find the full list of ingredients in each of their products by visiting their website. 

What Does They Taste Like?

Deciding whether either of these patties taste nice is going to be a matter of preference. Some people may enjoy the taste of one patty more than the other. Although they may be the same product, the patties from Beyond Meat taste considerably different from those made by Impossible Foods.

The taste is also going to be influenced by how the burger is served. If you are trying one from a fast-food restaurant, you will likely find that it is dressed with salad and a combination of sauces; mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup and served in a soft brioche-style bun.

The Beyond Meat patties are known for their chewiness and rich flavor which some would suggest tastes pretty similar to that of real meat although it is milder. Some meat-free burgers are made to ‘bleed’ like real burgers would when you cut into them, however, this is not the case with the Beyond Meat patties. Despite this, there is no denying that these patties are a delicious vegan-friendly alternative. 

Many would agree that the taste of Impossible Burgers is very similar to the taste of real ground beef. It is known for its juicy and meaty texture, its crunchy exterior, and pink meaty center and if you didn’t know otherwise, you may mistake one of these patties for an actual burger. 

How Much Do They Cost?

The cost of these burgers may differ slightly depending on where you purchase them from i.e a convenience store or a fast-food restaurant. When compared to real ground beef, both the Beyond Burger patties and Impossible Burger patties retailed at a higher price. 

In some fast-food restaurants, the price of these burgers is pretty similar as they cost around $10. Real patties usually cost a dollar less than the meat-free alternatives.

Beyond Meat and Impossible Burgers can be purchased by their consumers through their websites. The ‘Go Beyond Trial Pack’ contains one of each of the products that are available on their website and costs just under $50. For the same price, Impossible Foods offers the Impossible Convenience Pack. This package consists of 4 12 0z packs of burgers. 

Where to Buy Them

Both products are available online and in grocery stores. As we have touched upon, each company has its own website where a selection of its products can be purchased. They also do not charge for shipping.

Likewise, you will discover that Beyond Meat and Impossible Food products are widely available in grocery stores nationwide, although Beyond Meat products have now been introduced to stores on an international scale. The availability of these products in physical stores is convenient for those who do not want to buy online. Now, both of these brands have products available on Amazon fresh too. 

The Beyond Meat patties and Impossible Burgers are also available at many fast-food restaurants. The products of the aforementioned can be found in restaurants like Denny’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Subway. It was also tested in McDonald’s. Impossible Burgers can be found in the well-known fast-food establishment Burger King as well as White Castle and Little Caesar’s. 

Are There Any Other Well-Known Plant-Based Companies Besides Beyond Meat and Impossible?

The number of people opting for plant-based alternatives is certainly on the rise. To keep up with the growing demand, more companies are now starting to release their own versions of ‘meat-free patties.

Often, these brands create ‘copycat’ versions of burgers that have already been released by companies that are more well-known within the meat-free food industry. Other plant-based brands include Morningstar Farms and Gardein. Now, popular meat suppliers are also taking the leap and announcing the release of their new line of vegan-friendly products. 

Whilst the products from both brands are made using ingredients that derive from plants rather than animals, only one of them has been awarded their vegan certification by the Vegan awareness foundation and that is Beyond Meat. In the past, Impossible was confronted with negative backlash from vegans as it was discovered that they were testing their key ingredient ‘heme’ on animals.

They were said to be doing this to confirm that this ingredient was safe for human consumption. As such, there are arguments to suggest that this brand cannot be considered to be 100% vegan friendly. It is worth noting that this brand is no longer believed to be testing on animals. 

Of course, neither brand can be classed as perfect and for many other meat-free brands, this is a fairly new venture. Both of these brands have done a pretty good job in creating products that closely resemble the taste of real meat.

In doing so, they are encouraging more people to change their eating habits by indulging in plant-based alternatives rather than products that are made from animals. They are also widely supplied by many well-known retailers.

Final Thoughts

When it comes down to it, there are plenty of options for eating plant-based meat alternatives. Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are just two companies in an ever-growing industry that’s sweeping the nation. Hopefully, now you’ve learned more about the difference between Impossible and Beyond Meat and you can decide which one you like best.

What’s your favorite plant-based meat alternative? Leave a comment down below and let us know!

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Written by Rocco Smith

Rocco is a recent graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor’s in Editing, Writing, and Media. With seven years’ experience in the restaurant industry as a cook, server, bartender, and more, he is deeply passionate about intertwining his fondness for food with his love of language.