The future of meat is perilous. Concerns range from the negative effect vast numbers of windy cows have on the environment to the fact there simply won’t be enough meat to go around in future decades, thanks to booming populations. Throw in the rise of flexitariaism (part-time vegetarians that have cut down on meat due to health, sustainability or animal welfare concerns) and Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova Market Insights, predicts 2016 will see a rash of “better-tasting products more reminiscent of meat” alongside a marketing push to persuade consumers that there is nothing strange about a juicy medium rare cheeseburger made out of plants.
Just like the one pictured above, developed by Impossible Foods, which plans to “upend the meat industry” says Lucie Greene, worldwide director, JWT Innovation Group. Currently in beta testing, the business hopes the burger, which it says is made from “proteins, fats, amino acids and vitamins extracted from greens, beans and grains”, will hit the market in 2016. It also raised $108m in 2015, after three earlier rounds of financing that raised $74m. “Our target market is not fringey health nuts,” Impossible CEO Pat Brown told New York magazine. “It’s mainstream, mass-market, uncompromising, meat-loving carnivores.”