February 5, 2023

Digital Marketing Education

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Impossible Foods takes aim at Bloomberg Businessweek in full-page New York Times ad

“I suspect it’s coming form [sic] a news outlet paid money to write a [sic] article by people who make money from meat sales,” one Redditor, whose username is blurred out, is seen writing in the New York Times ad, which ran in the paper’s Jan. 22 edition. “It’s Bloomberg so i [sic] would take it with a giant bag of salt,” reads another reply below that comment.

At the bottom of the ad, readers are prompted to check out Impossible Foods’ website, where the company released a blog post elaborating on its gripes with the Bloomberg article.

Also published on Jan. 22, the post calls out Bloomberg’s “subjective, one-sided take” that it likens to an opinion piece, criticizing everything from “editorialized framing” to the news outlet’s choice of lead photo, which is a frozen Beyond Burger patty.

The blog points out that, unlike some refrigerated options, frozen plant-based meat, chicken and seafood alternatives saw a collective uptick in sales in 2022. That figure appears to be referencing dollar sales, though, as total sales by volume were slightly down from the highs achieved a couple of years ago, data from retail analytics firm IRI shows.

It also claims that Impossible has achieved record sales every year since it “first launched on menus,” despite not investing in “any sustained marketing or advertising”—though Impossible has advertised over the years, including a national campaign developed by Wieden+Kennedy Portland—before concluding with “We like to think we’re speaking for all of the players in the plant-based space when we say—we’re just getting started.”

And looking at Impossible as a standalone company, it may very well have room to continue its solid growth. With the debut of products such as plant-based chicken nuggets and aggressive pushes into grocery stores, the California-based company has soared to the top of its competitive set, seeing more than 50% retail sales growth across the board last year—a fact that is mentioned in the Bloomberg story.


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