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In brief: Impossible Foods during a digital press conference on Tuesday announced it is working on a plant-based alternative to cow’s milk. The research is part of a bigger initiative that'll see the company double the size of its R&D team over the next 12 months. And they've got the cash to do it, too, having raised some $700 million in funding in 2020 alone.
As CNBC highlights, there are no shortages of non-dairy alternatives already on the market such as soy and almond milk. Impossible Foods’ product, dubbed a prototype at this stage, will look to replicate some of the things that consumers enjoy about cow’s milk – namely, the taste and how it behaves.
Impossible CEO Pat Brown told journalists that he simply doesn’t like the taste of soy milk.
“The plant-based alternatives that are out there are inadequate,” Brown noted. “The reality is that if they weren’t, there wouldn’t be a dairy market.”
What’s more, some plant milks don’t play well when added to hot coffee and can curdle.
Non-dairy milk could be a good fit for Impossible Foods as it looks to expand beyond meat alternatives. According to the NPD Group, milk consumption was part of 15 percent of all eating occasions in 1984 but fell to just nine percent by 2019.
Still, there’s money to be had, especially in alternatives. Last year alone, non-dairy milk products were a $1.8 billion market. Even if Impossible Foods could capture a small percentage of that market, it’d be a lot of money.
Impossible Foods didn’t provide a timeline for the launch of its alternative milk product.