It takes four minutes to drive through the typical Los Angeles car wash. Coincidentally, it also takes four minutes to cook a plant-based Impossible burger.

Impossible Foods found a way to tie them together, somewhat, this week as it dipped cautiously back into experiential marketing with “The Great Patty Pickup Party.” The event was staged to introduce its first premade meatless patties, which will compete with similar products already on the market like Beyond Meat’s popular faux-meat patties.

Hundreds of motorists attending the Impossible event Wednesday near Dodger Stadium got free car washes and, on their way out, packages of the new product, which launched this week at national grocery stores.

Also in the goodie bags: Ralph’s gift cards and low-tech French fry kits (actually potatoes with cooking instructions).

The socially distanced stunt, custom-created to comply with safety concerns amid the pandemic, was intended to make noise around Impossible’s retail footprint, which has grown exponentially in 2020—while also hyping up the launch of its new patties.

“We keep making it more convenient for people to try the product,” Giselle Guerrero, Impossible’s vp of creative, told Adweek. “And this is the easiest door to walk through yet.”

It’s the latest salvo in an intense battle that’s escalated in the plant-based protein category, dominated by Impossible and rival Beyond Meat, with new and legacy players like Boca Burger, Morningstar Farms, Gardein, Dr. Praeger’s and Lightlife also grabbing attention and market share.

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