Impossible Foods Targets Meat-Eaters With New Red Branding

Impossible Foods continues to focus on its core consumer base with flexitarian-friendly red packaging


3 Minutes Read

Photo shows a burger made with an Impossible Foods patty in a dark red background with the company logo on it - part of a new brand-wide redesign Impossible Foods is redesigning its packaging to further appeal to meat-eaters - Media Credit: Impossible Foods

Impossible Foods just introduced its new packaging at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California. The plant-based brand says its new all-red aesthetic is inspired by the “craveability of meat” and is designed to appeal directly to meat-eaters and flexitarians.

“We wanted packaging that lived up to and reflected the deliciousness of our products while really popping on the shelf,” said Peter McGuinness, president and CEO of Impossible Foods, in a press release. “We want to be inclusive to anyone who enjoys great food.”

According to Impossible, 90 percent of its customers are meat-eaters, which is in keeping with the brand’s aim to provide a competitive plant-based alternative to animal-derived meat – for everyone. Impossible’s products have long been stocked alongside animal proteins in the meat aisles of supermarkets in order to both normalize them and reach new customers.

While Impossible does not publicly release its sales figures, it has stated several times that it continues to increase its market share. In 2022, the brand reported further growth in the form of USD $137 million in overall sales and an increase of 50 percent in retail sales alone.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a vegan, a vegetarian, an animal meat-lover, or somewhere in between,” added McGuinness. “What we want to do is educate consumers that they can still enjoy meat by incorporating into their diet a version that’s made from plants.”

The power of color

Photo shows a package of Impossible's plant-based Ground Beef with new red packaging
Impossible Foods Studies show that people link the color red with good flavors

The launch follows the publication of a study by ProVeg International which found that color made a big impact on whether consumers would try new products. Specifically, meat-eating participants were significantly more likely to experiment with unfamiliar plant-based items that came in red packaging, which they associated with good flavor.

ProVeg’s study, titled “The Power of Colour: Nudging Consumers Toward Plant-Based Meat Consumption,” noted that a significant 56 percent of UK consumers and 54 percent of US consumers associated the color red with “superior taste.” Overall, warm colors tend to “arouse and stimulate,” and red has previously been associated with sweetness.

ProVeg Project Coordinator Ajsa Spahic noted that the plant-based space is typically dominated by the color green, which can be used to convey sustainability and an association with environmentally friendly practices. However, those who typically do not buy plant-based items thought that red-packaged products “really thought this product would be tasty.”

‘Once they try us, they’ll be in’

Impossible’s updated red packaging will arrive at stores throughout the US over the coming weeks before expanding overseas later in the year. The brand’s new Beef Hot Dog – soft-launched in December 2023 – will be the first new item with updated packaging.

“We’re not just growing a brand, we’re growing an entire category,” said Chief Marketing & Creative Officer Leslie Sims. “For a long time, meat eaters didn’t see us as something for them. But our mission relies on attracting meat eaters, so we wanted to do what we could to be more inviting in our approach and messaging.

“We’re confident that once they try us, they’ll be in.”

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