Plant-based JUST Egg is already outselling established liquid egg brands at retail, claims JUST CEO

Source: Elaine Watson & Mary Ellen Shoup, Food Navigator

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

JUST Egg - a plant-based scrambled egg alternative from JUST Inc made with mung bean protein - is already outselling established liquid egg brands such as Egg Beaters (ConAgra Brands) and All whites (Crystal Farms) in dollar sales per store, says CEO Josh Tetrick.

"When we compete with liquid eggs, we're winning. We're doing more dollars per store per week than liquid effs. I thought that might happen eventually, but not within the first 3 months of being in retail."

One of the first - but most challenging - products JUST Inc founder Josh Tetrick started working on at the San Francisco-based firm (formerly Hampton Creek), four years ago, JUST Egg is made from water, mung bean protein isolate, canola oil, gums, and seasonings, and is designed to look, cook, and taste, just like scrambled egg.

Mung bean protein isolate has potential in a broad range of food applications from ice cream to sauces, according to GRAS determination from JUST Inc sent to the FDA in December 2016.

Right now, however, Tetrick says work on the mung bean is focused on eggs and meat. "There are opportunities in the world of cultured meat, because the first products don't have to be 100% chicken, for example, they could include some plant-based protein."

Speaking at the American Food Innovate Summit in Chicago last week, JUST Inc VP Product Development, Chris Jones, said "This [mung bean] protein creates extremely unique textures"

"Through extrusion we're able to create a base that texturally replicated chicken and then we're able to add our cultured chicken to this product. When you combine the two together, 'I call it my eight-year-old test' - when an eight-year-old likes your chicken nugget, you know you're in good shape. The flavors and textures are outstanding"

When Will JUST launch cell cultured meat?
Asked about his well-publicized plan to launch cell-cultired chicken by the end of 2018, Tetrick said: "We were in a position to release it before the end of the year, we had restaurant partners locked down and the product was ready, but regulatory was the limiting step"

Read the full article here.

Vice President of Product Development Chris Jones opened the 2019 American Food Innovate Summit in Chicago (February 4 - 5) with a session focused on the future of hybrid products at JUST. Find out more about his session "What Came First the Chicken or the Egg" here.