Taste Radio Ep. 77: An Impossible Interview With Plant-Based Meat Innovator Pat Brown

Ray Latif

In this week’s episode of Taste Radio, we consider the Impossible. We’re joined by Pat Brown, the founder and CEO of Impossible Foods, a company focused on the development of vegetable-derived meat, dairy and fish products.

Brown is the father of the Impossible Burger, a juicy, meatless patty that’s served in trendy restaurants nationwide. So far, it seems there is big money in impossibility: the company has reportedly raised over $300 million to date, including investment from GV and Bill Gates. Project NOSH editor Carol Ortenberg and Taste Radio’s Jon Landis recently spoke with Brown about the creation of and business strategy behind Impossible Burger, and his vision for the future of plant-based meat.

Also included in this episode: We look back with Adam Louras, the newly appointed COO of functional drink company Dirty Lemon Beverages to discuss the lessons accumulated from his journey as an entrepreneur. And in the latest edition of Elevator Talk, we speak with Royce Pinkwater, the founder and CEO of Bontá Hydration, a brand focusing on Mediterranean sourced ingredients.

Show notes:

0:58: The Mailbag — The hosts review questions and comments from Taste Radio listeners. From a venture capitalist in Los Angeles: How can trendy, new brands stay relevant? From a beverage entrepreneur in Chicagoland: Why do you guys like ginger so damn much?

11:16: Interview: Pat Brown, Founder/CEO, Impossible Burger — Brown discussed his belief that there is a “fundamental fallacy” that meat has to come from animals and pointed to research that meat-loving consumers would prefer alternative sources. That said, he notes: “Carnivores aren’t going to cut us any breaks. If we can’t deliver what they want, then it’s back to the drawing board for us.” He also made a bold claim: “If you make a one percent improvement in performance of the food system, you’ll save more lives and make more lives better than if you found a cure for cancer.”

36:43: Interview: Adam Louras, Founder, Koa — In our conversation with Louras, he discussed being stretched thin as both a beverage manufacturer and brand owner, the pitfalls of bootstrapping, and opined on the opportunities now available to brands to launch and incubate online versus traditional routes to market.

57:25: Elevator Talk: Bontá Hydration is a brand of all-natural, low-calorie beverages made with Mediterranean sourced ingredients. We caught up with founder and CEO Royce Pinkwater at BevNET Live Summer 2017 and she explained the origins of the brand and its positioning on the market.

Brands in this episode: Impossible Burger, Koa, Dirty Lemon, Bontá Hydration

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