America is in the grip of a plant-based food craze.

And California’s Impossible Foods, backed by investors including Bill Gates, is one of the companies feeding the demand.

Its Impossible Burger has been making the headlines throughout 2017. The key ingredient, soy leghemoglobin, – which contains heme – is found in animals and plants. And the Impossible team developed a technique to make it at scale without animals.

“Our scientists spent so much time and effort studying a single molecule — heme — because heme is what makes meat taste like meat,” explained Dr Patrick O. Brown Impossible Foods CEO and Founder, earlier this year . “It turns out that finding a sustainable way to make massive amounts of heme from plants is a critical step in solving the world’s greatest environmental threat.”

The company has now signed a deal with DOT Foods, America’s biggest food redistributor, to make it available across the US.

“The Impossible Burger is that rare menu item that excites customers and generates lines around the block — a real differentiator in America’s highly competitive restaurant sector,” said Impossible Foods’ SVP of Sales, Stephanie Lind. “We want to make it as easy as possible for restaurants to get the Impossible Burger, and that means working with the most trusted, reputable distributors in the food industry.”

And its good news for the environment, as the burger ‘uses about 75% less water, generates about 87% fewer greenhouse gases and requires around 95% less land than conventional ground beef from cows’.

December has pretty much been the plant-based food month on these pages, and it is predicted to be a hot trend in 2018.