Friday, July 19, 2019

Was there really a shortage of meatless burgers?

See Mission Impossible? Maker of Plant-Based Burger Struggles to Meet Chains’ Demand: The popularity of Impossible Foods’ meatless burger patty is disrupting supply chains at White Castle and Red Robin by Neil Vigdor of The NY Times.

The article mentions a shortage. But it also mentions that demand had increased and that one restaurant had raised its price. That is what we expect to happen when demand increases. Maybe people would like to buy more meatless burgers at the price of a regular burger, that does not mean there is a shortage. Excerpts:
"Impossible Foods, a Redwood City, Calif., company that makes the patties from genetically engineered, soy-based heme protein, said that it was not playing favorites and that it was ramping up production of the burgers. It uses more than 400 distributors and does not sell its burgers directly to restaurants and retailers, according to the company."

"But at a dozen White Castle and Red Robin locations across the United States, the much-discussed burgers were in scarce supply on Friday, when the eateries were contacted by The New York Times."

"Ms. Scanlon said her Red Robin location ran out of the meatless burgers about a week ago. At her restaurant, she said, the specialty patties cost an extra $3.50."

"White Castle, . . . attributed the shortage to the burger’s popularity and a planned transition in the shape of its sliders."

"Ms. Konrad said grilling season had increased the demand for the burgers, which Impossible Foods said could be used to make tacos, meatballs, lasagna and Bolognese sauce for pasta."

"The key ingredient of the Impossible Burger is genetically engineered, making the patties themselves a so-called G.M.O. food."

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