JUST Egg Is On A Roll, Announces New Partnership With Bareburger And Silver Diner

By Nicole Rasul | SAN FRANCISCO, CA | Tuesday, April 16, 2019

JUST, a San Francisco-based food innovator, announced today a new partnership with Bareburger to bring the company's recently formulated plant-based egg patty to the restaurant's 34 U.S. locations. Additionally, the company announced a relationship with Silver Diner, a Mid-Atlantic eatery, to bring JUST Egg, the company's plant-based egg substitute, to the restaurant's menu in three states.

Already on offer at many restaurants across the country""Veggie Grill's fast-casual vegan was the first chain to include the product on their menu""JUST Egg has quickly gained a foothold in the fast-growing plant-based alternatives market.

A grocery rollout for the plant-based substitute has also been underway in recent months. JUST Egg can now be found at Publix, Wegmans and Harris Teeter, among other retailers, and as of this month, the product is now available at Whole Foods Markets across the country.

Also on offer through a slew of food service distributors like Sysco and US Foods, operators like Disneyland Park, Michigan State University and the Denver Broncos have included the product in their kitchens, according to Josh Tetrick, JUST's cofounder and CEO. In an interview, Tetrick called 2019, "the year that we really get it [JUST Egg] out there in the world more significantly."

Included in TIME's list of "The 10 Smartest Sustainable Products of 2018," JUST Egg is made from an isolated protein in the 4,400-year-old mung bean. Tetrick and his team spent five years crafting the product with the first task being finding a legume fit for the job. To date, the company claims to have sold the equivalent of more than 5 million chicken eggs through their plant-based alternative.

So, why is this important other than an obvious economic impact on America's egg industry? As JUST notes, "an egg is the world's most abundant animal protein and a part of our diet that consumes too many resources." According to the company, their plant-based egg substitute has a "40% smaller carbon footprint than leading chicken egg brands." Tetrick calls the sustainability aspect of the product "really important" to the brand.

Not only does JUST cut out intensive animal agriculture in the production of their products, which has been linked to a host of animal welfare and environmental issues, but the company has spent significant time finding a plant source for JUST Egg that has a small carbon footprint. JUST says that mung bean production results in "31% less CO2 emissions than soy, 35% less than corn, 59% less than wheat and 81% less than rice."

At a recent event at Milan, Ohio's Culinary Vegetable Institute, I had a chance to try JUST Egg in a slew of inventive courses crafted by a team of guest chefs from JUST in coordination with the team at the host kitchen. The most obvious use of the product in a soft egg scramble paired with pork belly was fantastic and looked, felt and tasted almost identical to its chicken-produced counterpart. Further experimentation of the product in brioche, pasta and a bevy of desserts blew me away.

Chris Jones, a chef and VP of product development for JUST, told the crowd that his team was there to "open your minds up to what food can be" about the night's menu. "It's wild what plants can do," he said while explaining JUST Egg's mung bean roots to the crowd.

Tetrick says that he takes pride in the fact that many consumers who buy JUST products are not vegan or vegetarian. He calls cultivating a broad spectrum of users "really important" to the company. "We never wanted to do this for just vegans," Tetrick says about JUST Egg during our phone interview. "We wanted to make it easier for everyone to eat a little bit better," he explains about the product, which contains no cholesterol or saturated fat and is similar in protein to a traditional chicken egg.

As I have reported, data released last year by The Good Food Institute showed that the plant-based alternatives market is a skyrocketing industry in the U.S. The September 2018 compilation noted that sales of plant-based foods now exceed $3.7 billion in the country.

Tetrick has witnessed the plant-based market boom firsthand. He claims that the biggest difference between now and seven years ago, when he started the company with Josh Balk, is that "back then, when people thought about plant-based food, they thought about vegan quinoa for their sister in Northern California, which was not something they necessarily wanted for themselves."

Tetrick says that today people approach the concept of plant-based alternatives differently. "When you say something is plant-based, people get a different set of notions in their head such as health and wellness, as well as sustainability," he tells me.

In a matter of weeks, the company plans to launch JUST Egg in China. As they enter the country, which has the world's largest egg industry, many will watch curiously to see how Chinese consumers respond to JUST's egg alternative. With roots in a centuries-old crop from the region, the country's consumers may embrace the product wholeheartedly.

For More Infromation Please contact:
Nicole Rasul

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