Impossible Foods has hired Leslie Sims as its new Chief Creative and Marketing Officer, according to a company press release. Sims will oversee the brand’s marketing strategy and creative development.
She joins Impossible Foods from Deloitte Digital, where she served as US chief creative officer. At Deloitte Digital, she worked with brands including IBM, General Mills and Girl Scouts.
Leslie Sims brings over 25 years of leadership experience at advertising agencies and production companies in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles. Many know her in the industry as the mind behind Staples’ Easy Button
Prior to joining the team at Impossible Foods, Sims served as US chief creative officer for Ogilvy before moving on to Young & Rubicam Group’s New York office where she helped lead their executive committee while also producing award-winning work for clients including Fortune 500 companies such as IBM and General Mills.
Sims has also produced award-winning work for Fortune 500 businesses and brands, including Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA), Macaroni Grill, Joe’s Crab Shack, Burger King Worldwide Inc., The Cheesecake Factory Inc., Marriott International Inc., American Airlines AAdvantage®, United Airlines Mileage Plus®, Delta SkyMiles® Program Rebranding Project Team—and many more!
Marketing and Creative Officer
The move comes as the Redwood City, California-based company grows its product range and prepares to bring its plant-based meat alternative to grocery stores across the country.
“Leslie is the proven creative marketing powerhouse that we need to bring our products and promise to the masses. The plant-based meat category is in its infancy and despite our growth, most of the country still hasn’t heard of us,” said Peter McGuiness, the CEO “We have a real opportunity to create and build not just our own brand, but the entire category through greater awareness, approachability and accessibility. Leslie knows how to set the creative vision for brands and businesses in hypergrowth, build and lead high-performing teams, and create emotional connections with consumers.”
Impossible Foods Inc.
Impossible Foods Inc. is a food company that produces meatless meat and dairy products. It was founded in 2011 by Patrick Brown and has raised more than $2.1 billion in funding since then. The company’s investors include Bill Gates and Li Ka-shing.
Since then the burger has been served across America by chains like White Castle and Umami Burger, as well as at Starbucks coffee shops.
Impossible Foods sells products including plant-based alternatives to beef burger patties, chicken nuggets and pork.
The Impossible Foods CMO Leslie Sims will be charged with helping the company continue to grow its brand and expand into new markets.
Impossible Foods sells products including plant-based alternatives to beef burger patties, chicken nuggets and pork. The company aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while improving animal welfare and reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer in humans who consume their products.
The company has done little marketing other than a brief national push last spring called “We Are Meat,” which targeted carnivores who hadn’t yet tried Impossible products.
Leslie Sims will be charged with changing that. As CMO, she’ll oversee the company’s marketing efforts and help spread its message to carnivores who haven’t yet tried Impossible Foods products. She also must make the case that switching away from meat can benefit both consumers and the environment—and, of course, win over customers on taste alone.
The brand’s new marketing will make the case that switching away from meat can benefit both the environment and consumer health, Ms. Sims said. But the company also wants to win consumers on taste, she said.
One of her primary jobs will be to convince consumers that they don’t have to sacrifice taste in order to protect the environment. Impossible Foods has had great success with this strategy thus far, but you will need to build on it and make sure that people who aren’t already convinced by Impossible Foods’ claims about the environment or health benefits think that their products taste good enough for them to buy them again.
Impossible Foods CEO Patrick Brown once told “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer that his company’s vision is to have plant-based protein products “completely replace the animal-based products in the food world within the next 15 years.”
It’s a lofty goal, but one that Brown believes is achievable — especially with this new addition to his team. His company has already made significant gains: Impossible Foods’ burger has been so well received by consumers that Burger King has added other Impossible options to the menu. Also according to Grubhub, the Impossible Cheeseburger ranked as the most-ordered food item for 2021. The report showed that the Impossible Cheeseburger – a meatless patty often served with dairy-based cheese – increased in popularity by 442 percent in one year.
If it can continue to gain market share like this, it will only be a matter of time before they reach their goal.
Impossible Foods seeks to tap into the greater availability of its products with an integrated, TV-focused campaign that demonstrates how its plant-based foods help consumers avoid the environmental effects of livestock without compromising on taste, nutrition, convenience or family traditions. Impossible Foods first national, mass-market advertising campaign comes as the plant-based food brand saw a surge in interest and availability during the pandemic. Impossible Burger was sold in about 150 grocery stores a year ago, and is now available in more than 30,000 stores and 45,000 restaurants.