Impossible Foods is striking further into the U.S. heartland with a just-announced deal to sell its popular faux burgers in Walmart stores, beginning today.

The move takes the Silicon Valley-based company far beyond its boutique retail roots and into more than 8,000 total stores, a 50-fold increase in its distribution since early this year. The Walmart deal adds some 2,100 locations to its footprint, which now spans all 50 states, and puts it side-by-side with major competitor Beyond Meat at the retail behemoth.

Impossible’s aggressive growth coincides with the pandemic, as plant-based protein has seen triple-digit spikes in grocery sales amid a Covid-19 outbreak in the country’s slaughterhouses and the ensuing meat shortages and price bumps.

Impossible’s supermarket expansion had already been in the works, though the public health crisis “moved us more quickly into retail, direct-to-consumer and online sales,” said Pat Brown, founder and CEO, during a news conference today announcing the Walmart deal. “We felt a certain obligation to jump in and accelerate as fast as we could.”

Read more at AdWeek: https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/impossible-foods-signs-deal-with-walmart-continuing-its-massive-push-into-retail/