Impossible Foods, a leading manufacturer of plant-based meat, has not abandoned its pursuit of a potentially lucrative deal with McDonald's, CEO Patrick Brown told Business Insider in an interview Wednesday.
“We're very deliberate in how we approach customers but we would never blow off or disrespect a potential customer and any suggestion that we would do that is complete nonsense,” Brown said.
In an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, Brown said it would be “stupid” for Impossible Foods to be pursuing a customer as large as McDonald's, citing a need to further scale up its production first. Shares of the company's largest rival, Beyond Meat, soared following the comments.
However, a company spokesperson told Bloomberg later that day that the company had not stopped talks with the fast-food giant and that Brown's comments had been misinterpreted.
Brown reiterated that to Business Insider, saying that “anyone who is going to be in the meat businesses in the future selling to consumers is a target customer for us.” He repeatedly and emphatically denied having no interest in doing business with McDonald's, at another point in the interview dismissing the notion as “complete bulls**t.”
Brown also confirmed that Impossible Foods still needs to increase its production capacity. He said that the company learned a “hard lesson” after demand for its products spiked following last year's International Consumer Electronics Show, leaving it unable to keep up with orders.
“Part of that hard lesson is that we are obviously not going to commit to some very, very large scale until we have certainty about our ability to maintain supply,” Brown said.