It’s a cool, new food trend but places around Albuquerque can’t get their hands on it. Some local managers say the “Impossible Burger“ is becoming almost impossible to find.
Managers at Duran Central Pharmacy Restaurant and Steel Bender Brewery in the North Valley say they didn’t realize how popular the vegan burger was until they couldn’t get it.
“We were just going to do it as a test-run to see how it went. Within two weeks, we were just selling it like hotcakes. That, combined with our wonderful red chile and our wonderful green chile, you can’t get that anywhere else,“ said Lynette Whiting, manager of Duran Central Pharmacy Restaurant. “We hope to get it back in stock again soon and just for being a local business, as well as all the other local businesses.“
KRQE News 13 reached out to Impossible Foods, the creator of the burger, which says it’s trying to keep up with demand because everyone wants to try it—from large franchises to mom-and-pop places, as well as places like theme parks and college campuses. Their sales have gone up by 50 percent since December.
The burger has become so popular because it looks and tastes so much like meat, making it appeal to vegans and vegetarians, as well as those who eat meat but are may be more health-conscious.
“People feel like they’re eating meat, and they’re not, and it’s healthier,“ said Whiting. “Now that people are so health-conscious about everything.“
While local restaurants are missing out on this food craze, they remain hopeful to get it back in stock soon. “It’s been tough. We’ve actually had lengthy conversations in our operations meetings about what do we do now because the response was so great,“ said Shelby Chant, co-owner of Steel Bender Brewyard. “We’re keeping in very close touch with them and determining what manufacturing levels are going to be able to provide to us and when.“
She says it’s hard to let customers down.
“The customer reaction was great. We actually have a lot of folks reach out to us, asking what kind of vegetarian options we have, and we like to come up with different ways to serve those folks,“ said Chant. “Our one-on-one interactions with our guests is so intimate that it’s hard to disappoint. We don’t like having to look one of our guests in the eye because we know so many of our guests, and say, ‘We just don’t have this right now.’“
The company recently launched a test with Burger King to create the “Impossible Whopper.“ Burger King plans to add it to menus in all of its restaurants by the end of 2019.
In order to meet the demand, Impossible Foods says it has hired a few dozen people in the last few weeks to help make more burgers, and they have the plant running 24/7.