In March, Impossible Foods—which has gotten more than $250 million in funding since its founding in 2011—announced it was finishing construction on a facility in Oakland, California, that could produce as much as 1 million lbs. (454,000 kg) of meatless meat a month.

Market research suggests that while the most devoted American meat eaters won’t turn their backs on beef burgers and steaks, they would at least be willing to try a plant-based product claimed to taste just as good. In other words, there’s a window for these new food companies to steal away market share from the beef industry and they’re going for it.

But they had better hurry. Other startups, such as Memphis Meats and Hampton Creek, are trying to develop lab-based meat products that are grown in vats using animal-cell cultures. This is different from what the purely plant-based players are doing, but also would allow people to eat burgers without requiring any cows to go to the slaughterhouse.


📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.