August 12, 2020
CEO of lifestyle retailer Athleta becomes Impossible Foods’ newest board member
Laughton brings more than 20 years of consumer-focused retail and digital leadership to Impossible Foods’ board, including experience at Sephora and Nike
Impossible Foods has expanded its retail footprint 60x since March and launched its newest product, Impossible™ Sausage Made from Plants, now available at more than 22,000 locations nationwide
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- Impossible Foods Inc. announced today that Mary Beth Laughton has joined the food tech startup’s board of directors.
The retail industry veteran has more than 20 years of experience in marketing, innovation and sustainability for consumer brands and has served as a senior executive at multiple multinational companies. She is currently the President and CEO of Athleta, a premium fitness and lifestyle brand that creates versatile performance apparel to inspire active and confident women and girls. Athleta, a certified B Corporation, was acquired by Gap Inc. in 2008.
Previously, Laughton was Executive Vice President of Omni Retail for Sephora US. Before that, she spent nine years at Nike, where she held a variety of strategy, merchandising and e-commerce roles. Laughton also served as a board member of REI.
"Few companies are pursuing as bold and ambitious of a vision as Impossible Foods,” said Laughton. “Like Athleta, the team at Impossible Foods is passionate about both innovation as well as creating a sustainable future. I'm thrilled to be part of an organization dedicated to combining profit and planet, and I look forward to helping them extend their impact even further."
In addition to Laughton, Impossible Foods’ board members include:
Pat Brown, Impossible Foods’ CEO, Founder and Chairman of the Board
Fedele Bauccio, Chief Executive Officer and Cofounder of Bon Appétit Management Company
Samir Kaul, founding general partner at Khosla Ventures
John Marren, Senior Managing Director, North America, of Singapore-based global investment company Temasek
Tal Ronnen, founder and chef of Los Angeles-based Crossroads Kitchen and author of the New York Times bestseller The Conscious Cook
Bart Swanson, advisor at Horizons Ventures, the Hong Kong-based private investment fund of Mr. Li Ka-Shing
Vanessa Wittman, Chief Financial Officer, Glossier
“Mary Beth is a world-class corporate leader,” said Impossible Foods’ CEO and Founder Dr. Patrick O. Brown. “We are excited about the strategic guidance she will bring as we navigate this period of hypergrowth and unprecedented retail expansion. In particular, we are eager to tap into her experience and insights in retail, marketing and e-commerce which will help us build awareness, trial and the Impossible Food brand.”
Laughton’s appointment to the board comes at a critical moment in Impossible Foods’ growth trajectory as the company continues to dramatically expand its retail presence to more than 9,000 stores in all 50 states – a more than 60x increase of Impossible Foods’ retail footprint since March 2020.
Impossible™ Burger is now available for sale in Walmart Supercenter and Neighborhood Market locations across the United States, as well as Kroger, Albertsons, Fred Meyer, Gelson’s, Publix, Safeway, Trader Joes, Vons, and Wegmans, and many others.
In June, Impossible Foods’ debuted its direct-to-consumer e-commerce site with two-day delivery in the contiguous United States. Customer satisfaction is extremely high: about 95% of online customers say they are likely to purchase via the e-commerce channel again. At least 75% of buyers report having tried Impossible Burger previously in restaurants including Burger King, White Castle and Red Robin.
In July, Impossible Foods launched Impossible Sausage Made From Plants – the company’s first new product since the 2016 launch of its flagship Impossible Burger. Impossible Sausage is already on the menu at more than 22,000 restaurants nationwide.
Impossible Foods’ scalable approach to manufacturing has allowed the company to dramatically increase production capacity to support surging demand for Impossible Burger and Impossible Sausage this year. With its robust plant-based supply chain and co-manufacturing collaboration with OSI Group, Impossible Foods is achieving new production milestones month over month – a stark contrast to the meat industry, which was severely constrained by COVID-19 outbreaks.
Earlier this year, as part of its aim to compete against animal-derived meat in every way that matters to consumers, including affordability, Impossible Foods lowered the price of Impossible Burger for US foodservice distributors by 15% on average, passing along savings achieved through economies of scale. Driving down prices is key to the company’s mission of eliminating the need for animal agriculture by 2035.
Impossible Burger has as much protein and bioavailable iron as a comparable serving of ground beef from cows. A 4-ounce serving of Impossible Burger has 0 mg cholesterol, 14 g of total fat, 8 g of saturated fat and 240 calories. (A conventional 4-ounce “80/20” patty from cows has 80 mg cholesterol, 23 g of total fat, 9 g of saturated fat and 290 calories.)
Impossible Burger contains no animal hormones or antibiotics, and is kosher, halal and gluten-free certified. And because it’s made from plants and bioengineered, it uses 96% less land, 87% less water and 89% fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional beef from cows.
Chefs and fans can also log into Impossible Foods’ Impact Calculator to learn exactly how much land, water and emissions they’ve saved by using Impossible Burger instead of ground beef from cows.
Impossible Burger is available at thousands of restaurants and grocery stores in the United States and Asia, including Burger King, Red Robin, Qdoba, Hard Rock Cafe, Walmart, Safeway, Kroger, Trader Joe’s and more.
To find Impossible Burger near you, visit www.impossiblefoods.com.
Based in California’s Silicon Valley, Impossible Foods makes delicious, nutritious meat and dairy products from plants — with a much smaller environmental footprint than meat from animals. The privately held food tech startup was founded in 2011 by Patrick O. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry at Stanford University and a former Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Investors include Mirae Asset Global Investments, Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates, Google Ventures, Horizons Ventures, UBS, Viking Global Investors, Temasek, Sailing Capital, and Open Philanthropy Project.
Impossible Foods was Inc. Magazine’s company of the year and one of Time Magazine’s 50 Genius companies. The flagship product, Impossible Burger, was named top plant-based burger by the New York Times and received the Food and Beverage (FABI) Award from the National Restaurant Association.
Media kit: (www.impossiblefoods.com/media)
Media Contact: Keely Sulprizio ([email protected])