Can Impossible Foods’ New Sausage Displace Pork?

Image features an egg muffin made with Impossible Foods' vegan sausage alongside the external packaging, placed on a pink background.

Impossible Foods now makes vegan sausage. The plant-based product was previously only available at select diners and food chains, but it is now at Kroger, Safeway, Ralphs, Stop & Shop, Sprouts Farmers Market, and many more retailers across the country. The sausage is also available in two bold flavors—savory and spicy.

Impossible Sausage debuted last year as the California-based company’s first all-new product since the popular Impossible Burger launched in 2016. It was on the menu at the 30 Top American Diners as chosen by Yelp, and is now part of the Impossible Handwich. That sandwich was introduced at Jamba in April 2021. The Impossible Sausage also launched in Starbucks and Burger King last year. It made its international debut in Asia when it rolled out at nearly 200 coffee shop locations in Hong Kong in September 2020.

“With our latest Impossible Sausage product for retail, we’re doubling down in our efforts to reach every home cook looking to satiate their cravings for sausage. We are excited to see what consumers cook up,” says Impossible Foods’ president Dennis Woodside.

Impossible Sausage for retail is designed to fit into any type of meal for any time of day. The savory version is fully seasoned with an “herbaceous and peppery bite,” not unlike a traditional breakfast sausage. The spicy variety boasts a “bold kick” with notes of chili and cayenne. Impossible sausage even sizzles, just like sausage made with meat.

This launch is the latest big development for Impossible Foods. In July 2020, 2,100 Walmart stores across the country began carrying the Impossible burger. The brand is also adding plant-based chicken nuggets to its roster this fall. 

Bowl of pasta featuring Impossible Foods' vegan sausage.
Impossible Foods’ vegan sausage even sizzles like pork. | Impossible

Can Impossible Foods displace pork?

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization reports that there are about 1.44 billion pigs in the world. These pigs account for nearly 38 percent of meat production worldwide, and are the most widely eaten animal in the world. Each year in the United States alone, more than 121 million pigs are slaughtered for food.

Industrial pork production releases excessive amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus into the environment, which is bad for the planet. Additionally, the high doses of copper and zinc fed to pigs to promote growth accumulate in the soil. 

Part of Impossible Foods’ core mission is to deliver sustainable, plant-based alternatives, and to “turn back the clock on climate change.” To that end, the brand notes that Impossible Sausage generates far less greenhouse gas emissions than sausage from pigs. It also uses 79 percent less water as well as 41 percent less land than sausage from pigs.