Alt-Eggs: Meet the startups scrambling to hatch the latest egg substitutes

Alt-Eggs: Meet the startups scrambling to hatch the latest egg substitutes

By
Louise Burfitt
June 8, 2021

🍽️ What is it?

  • Vegan burgers tend to grab the headlines, but in the background, forward-looking food tech entrepreneurs have been busy hatching a plant-based version of one of the most key animal proteins in the world: eggs!
  • It was never going to be easy - the texture, taste and binding properties of eggs are tough to mimic - but that hasn’t stopped the emerging band of startups in this sector giving it a go.

🤔 Tell me more…

  • Replicating eggs isn’t for the faint of heart. Consumers expect egg substitutes to thicken, bind, rise, scramble and fry up just like normal eggs do as well as to feel and taste like their favourite dishes on the dinner table. 
  • Startups in the alt-egg sector have to think about nutrition too. After all, conventional chicken-laid eggs are superstores of vitamins, minerals and protein - and shoppers expect the same benefits from their plant-based counterparts. 
  • While the egg substitutes market is not yet the size of the alt milk and meat markets, it is growing steadily and investors are taking notice. 

🤷 Why?

  • Most of us know the inhumane conditions that come with factory farming, but eggs are such a staple food, many people are reluctant to give them up. 9 in 10 of the (over) one trillion eggs eaten every year around the world are factory-farmed. But for ethically minded millennials and Gen Z, especially, the animal cruelty associated with farmed eggs is driving them to consider egg alternatives in droves. And there’s a real joy in enjoying your eggs, however you like them, free from guilt. 
  • Eggs are also subject to seasonal variations, which affects their price and influences the profit margins for both manufacturers and retailers (and the cost for consumers). So some manufacturers who rely on eggs in industrial quantities are looking for more cost-friendly and reliable alternatives. 
  • Then there’s the fact that the poultry industry doesn’t have the best of reputations. There’s been several outbreaks of diseases such as avian flu and salmonella in recent years that have dampened consumer confidence in the safety of eggs. Egg alternatives offer greater control for manufacturers and peace of mind for wary customers.
Evo Foods in India are useing lentils in their liquid egg replacement

🔍 How is it shaping up?

  • The egg alternatives space can be separated into a handful of distinct categories: bakery & confectionery, mayonnaise & sauces, and direct egg replacements, to fry, scramble or use in an omelette.
  • A fair few companies are using pulses and legumes to concoct their plant-based ‘eggs’. Widely and cheaply available, they’re a plus on the sustainability front and 100% vegan too, of course. EVO in India uses lentils in their liquid egg replacement while OnlyEG in Singapore are using a mixture of legumes in their ‘whole egg’ substitute. In the US, Univar is also using pulses (fava beans, in fact) due to their high protein content. 
  • Some startups are concentrating on cracking the egg ingredients market - tackling the mass use of eggs in consumer products like pre-made baked goods and CPGs. This is a massive sector, growing at a CAGR of 5.5%. Swiss startup EggField are hoping to crack this space, as are Grupo Mantiqueira in Brazil with their pea-based N.Ovo. replacement product for baked goods. 
  • And home bakers have options too: OGGS have made a liquid egg white alternative with aquafaba that can be used to make vegan meringue and cakes, while products like Nutrilac or Regg-Ex by Kröner-Stärke provide natural substitutes, enabling bakers to reduce the egg content in their recipes by 30-100%. 
  • Others are trying to replicate the taste, texture and mouthfeel of eggs more directly whether in a scramble, or hash, or a Spanish tortilla. Companies including Veggletto, market-leading JUST and Spero Foods’ Scramblit are all working in this area. Many are concentrating on egg whites, like Clara Foods, while aforementioned OnlyEG are trying to replicate the ‘whole egg’ experience with a plant-based substitute that achieves a level of likeness close to a real chicken egg, whilst canada-based Noblegen, has a whole egg powder made using an ‘ancient microorganisms’ called euglena gracilis (typically found in fresh and salt water).
View the database of 20+ Alt-Eggs Companies here

👀 Who? (23 companies in this space)

  • Clara Foods (proprietary yeast fermentation to replace egg, USA) 
  • CRACKD (liquid plant-based egg replacement, UK)
  • EggField (plant-based eggs ‘grown in a field’, Switzerland) 
  • Egg’n’up by SavorEat (cellulose-based alternative egg product, Israel) 
  • EVO (liquid plant-based eggs made with lentils, India)
  • Just Egg (liquid egg alternative, USA) 
  • Le Papondu (formerly Merveilloeufs) (functional egg replacement, France)
  • Moolec (egg alternative for baking, UK)
  • N. Ovo. (egg substitute for baked goods using peas, Brazil)
  • Eunite Foods by Noblegen (egg alternative made with fermentation, Canada)
  • OGGS (egg white alternative using aquafaba, UK)
  • OnlyEG by Float Foods (legume-based plant-based egg, Singapore
  • Orgran Vegan Easy Egg (vegetable-based egg alternative, Australia) 
  • Osomoegg by OsomeFood ('immunity boosting' hard-boiled eggs, Singapore)
  • Peggs (chickpea vegan egg alternative, USA)
  • Scramblit by Spero Foods (plant-based egg made with sunflower seeds, USA)
  • Simply Eggless (vegan liquid eggs made with lupin beans, USA)
  • Talgama Foods by Algama (egg replacement ingredient for baked goods)
  • Univar (pulse-based egg replacement, USA)
  • VeganEgg (plant-based egg replacer, USA)
  • Veggletto (egg-alternative in powder form, Australia) 
  • Yumgo Blanc (plant-based egg white substitute, France)
  • Zero Egg (plant-based vegan egg replacer, Israel)

📈 The figures

  • Worldwide, the egg replacement market is on the up and up: it’s expected to reach a size of $1.15bn by 2022.
  • The Good Food Institute estimates that the plant-based egg sector is currently worth $27 million, and from 2019-2020 it experienced a growth rate of 168 percent.
JUST Egg  - a pourable vegan egg replacement made from mung bean protein.

 🍳 Case study: JUST Egg

  • Just Inc., a San Francisco-based enterprise, makes JUST Egg  - a pourable vegan egg replacement made from mung bean protein. 
  • The liquid egg alternative can be cooked the same way you would a real egg - scrambled, fried and the like, or used in cakes, quiches and baked goods. 
  • They also sell JUST Egg Folded, a frozen patty that can be popped in the toaster and eaten in wraps, sandwiches and the like. 
  • And it’s pretty smoking hot in the plant-based world right now: the company has been named ‘World-Changing Company of the Year’ and raised a stunning $200m in a funding round this spring. 
  • Eat Just says it’s already sold 100 million of its ‘eggs’ around the world and has a pretty solid 99.2% share of the plant-based egg segment. 
  • The secrets to their success? Perhaps their commitment to marketing that has made egg alternatives more mainstream, and 
  • They’ve also included Michelin-starred chefs on their R&D team...to really crack that egg taste and texture that may have held other alternatives back. 
  • The company aims to launch JUST Egg in Europe by the end of 2021 and is currently building a $120m alt-egg production site in Singapore.

🥚 Case study: EggField

  • Zurich-based EggField bill their product as ‘just like eggs, but grown in a field’ - their egg replacement is made with pulses.
  • Founder Silvan Leibacher said that pulses were chosen for the startup’s egg replacement due to their ‘attractive nutritional profile’ and widespread availability.
  • The B2B Swiss startup is focusing on the egg ingredients industry as more than half of the 1.2 trillion produced yearly are destined for use as industrial ingredients in consumer products (e.g. ready-made cakes and biscuits). 
  • Leibacher says: ‘With consumers starting to care about ingredients, people are starting to wonder if all these weird ingredients such as modified starches and additives on the label are really necessary. At Eggfield, we focus entirely on helping B2B brands and food processing companies to replace eggs in their current product range and together develop new plant-based product variants that meet the needs of the consumers.’
  • Eggfield has two unique products in the pipeline at present. The first addresses egg functionalities such as foaming, emulsification and binding to create texture and structures in products (such recipes usually contain up to 70% egg content). It is mainly focused on categories such as baking, deserts, sauces & dressings and cooking. Because of its natural taste - which is key in this category - it can be used in a variety of products and applications just like whole egg or egg white.
  • The second product is designed to interact well with a variety of plant-based proteins, and improves the texture of cakes, quiches and similar products.
  • Eggfield are currently focusing on bringing their first product to industrial scale while collaborating closely with selected customers across the company’s four focus categories. They’re also continuing to invest in R&D to further the product development of their second product.

👍 The good

  • The best benefit of true-to-life egg substitutes? They allow consumers to continue to allow the foods they love, whether that’s an egg tortilla or a soufflé, without the ethical and environmental guilt attached to conventionally produced eggs. 
  • Egg replacements also have health benefits: by picking and choosing what they include in a product, alt-egg makers can produce substitutes that are high in protein but free from cholesterol, and still have all the nutritional benefits of real eggs.   
  • While alternative eggs are primarily aimed at plant-based vegans, they’ll also help flexitarians (also known as ‘ethical omnivores’) and those with an egg allergy

👎 The bad

  • Alt-egg startups have their work cut out for them, given the height of consumer expectations. Shoppers want a ‘clean’ ingredients list, health benefits and preservative-free options when it comes to plant-based eggs. 
  • While millennials and Gen Z-ers are driving demand for egg alternatives, brands may have a harder time convincing older consumers to accept egg alternatives. 
  • There’s pricing to consider, too - at present, all of the leading plant-based egg products are much more expensive than their conventional counterparts. 
  • And the manufacturers of egg substitutes need to get their product just right before introducing it to market – with a growing raft of startups on the scene, consumers will quickly gravitate to the product that can imitate real eggs most closely, leaving less realistic substitutes on the sidelines. Those with multiple functionalities - for example, working well in both an omelette and a cake - will win out. 

💡 The bottom line

  • It’s clear that hatching egg substitutes is a growing market, one that’s sure to be lucrative for investors and popular with certain segments of consumers. 
  • But startups in the space also have to put in the research to make convincingly realistic alternatives that act as close to real eggs as possible!

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🍽️ What is it?

  • Vegan burgers tend to grab the headlines, but in the background, forward-looking food tech entrepreneurs have been busy hatching a plant-based version of one of the most key animal proteins in the world: eggs!
  • It was never going to be easy - the texture, taste and binding properties of eggs are tough to mimic - but that hasn’t stopped the emerging band of startups in this sector giving it a go.

🤔 Tell me more…

  • Replicating eggs isn’t for the faint of heart. Consumers expect egg substitutes to thicken, bind, rise, scramble and fry up just like normal eggs do as well as to feel and taste like their favourite dishes on the dinner table. 
  • Startups in the alt-egg sector have to think about nutrition too. After all, conventional chicken-laid eggs are superstores of vitamins, minerals and protein - and shoppers expect the same benefits from their plant-based counterparts. 
  • While the egg substitutes market is not yet the size of the alt milk and meat markets, it is growing steadily and investors are taking notice. 

🤷 Why?

  • Most of us know the inhumane conditions that come with factory farming, but eggs are such a staple food, many people are reluctant to give them up. 9 in 10 of the (over) one trillion eggs eaten every year around the world are factory-farmed. But for ethically minded millennials and Gen Z, especially, the animal cruelty associated with farmed eggs is driving them to consider egg alternatives in droves. And there’s a real joy in enjoying your eggs, however you like them, free from guilt. 
  • Eggs are also subject to seasonal variations, which affects their price and influences the profit margins for both manufacturers and retailers (and the cost for consumers). So some manufacturers who rely on eggs in industrial quantities are looking for more cost-friendly and reliable alternatives. 
  • Then there’s the fact that the poultry industry doesn’t have the best of reputations. There’s been several outbreaks of diseases such as avian flu and salmonella in recent years that have dampened consumer confidence in the safety of eggs. Egg alternatives offer greater control for manufacturers and peace of mind for wary customers.
Evo Foods in India are useing lentils in their liquid egg replacement

🔍 How is it shaping up?

  • The egg alternatives space can be separated into a handful of distinct categories: bakery & confectionery, mayonnaise & sauces, and direct egg replacements, to fry, scramble or use in an omelette.
  • A fair few companies are using pulses and legumes to concoct their plant-based ‘eggs’. Widely and cheaply available, they’re a plus on the sustainability front and 100% vegan too, of course. EVO in India uses lentils in their liquid egg replacement while OnlyEG in Singapore are using a mixture of legumes in their ‘whole egg’ substitute. In the US, Univar is also using pulses (fava beans, in fact) due to their high protein content. 
  • Some startups are concentrating on cracking the egg ingredients market - tackling the mass use of eggs in consumer products like pre-made baked goods and CPGs. This is a massive sector, growing at a CAGR of 5.5%. Swiss startup EggField are hoping to crack this space, as are Grupo Mantiqueira in Brazil with their pea-based N.Ovo. replacement product for baked goods. 
  • And home bakers have options too: OGGS have made a liquid egg white alternative with aquafaba that can be used to make vegan meringue and cakes, while products like Nutrilac or Regg-Ex by Kröner-Stärke provide natural substitutes, enabling bakers to reduce the egg content in their recipes by 30-100%. 
  • Others are trying to replicate the taste, texture and mouthfeel of eggs more directly whether in a scramble, or hash, or a Spanish tortilla. Companies including Veggletto, market-leading JUST and Spero Foods’ Scramblit are all working in this area. Many are concentrating on egg whites, like Clara Foods, while aforementioned OnlyEG are trying to replicate the ‘whole egg’ experience with a plant-based substitute that achieves a level of likeness close to a real chicken egg, whilst canada-based Noblegen, has a whole egg powder made using an ‘ancient microorganisms’ called euglena gracilis (typically found in fresh and salt water).
View the database of 20+ Alt-Eggs Companies here

👀 Who? (23 companies in this space)

  • Clara Foods (proprietary yeast fermentation to replace egg, USA) 
  • CRACKD (liquid plant-based egg replacement, UK)
  • EggField (plant-based eggs ‘grown in a field’, Switzerland) 
  • Egg’n’up by SavorEat (cellulose-based alternative egg product, Israel) 
  • EVO (liquid plant-based eggs made with lentils, India)
  • Just Egg (liquid egg alternative, USA) 
  • Le Papondu (formerly Merveilloeufs) (functional egg replacement, France)
  • Moolec (egg alternative for baking, UK)
  • N. Ovo. (egg substitute for baked goods using peas, Brazil)
  • Eunite Foods by Noblegen (egg alternative made with fermentation, Canada)
  • OGGS (egg white alternative using aquafaba, UK)
  • OnlyEG by Float Foods (legume-based plant-based egg, Singapore
  • Orgran Vegan Easy Egg (vegetable-based egg alternative, Australia) 
  • Osomoegg by OsomeFood ('immunity boosting' hard-boiled eggs, Singapore)
  • Peggs (chickpea vegan egg alternative, USA)
  • Scramblit by Spero Foods (plant-based egg made with sunflower seeds, USA)
  • Simply Eggless (vegan liquid eggs made with lupin beans, USA)
  • Talgama Foods by Algama (egg replacement ingredient for baked goods)
  • Univar (pulse-based egg replacement, USA)
  • VeganEgg (plant-based egg replacer, USA)
  • Veggletto (egg-alternative in powder form, Australia) 
  • Yumgo Blanc (plant-based egg white substitute, France)
  • Zero Egg (plant-based vegan egg replacer, Israel)

📈 The figures

  • Worldwide, the egg replacement market is on the up and up: it’s expected to reach a size of $1.15bn by 2022.
  • The Good Food Institute estimates that the plant-based egg sector is currently worth $27 million, and from 2019-2020 it experienced a growth rate of 168 percent.
JUST Egg  - a pourable vegan egg replacement made from mung bean protein.

 🍳 Case study: JUST Egg

  • Just Inc., a San Francisco-based enterprise, makes JUST Egg  - a pourable vegan egg replacement made from mung bean protein. 
  • The liquid egg alternative can be cooked the same way you would a real egg - scrambled, fried and the like, or used in cakes, quiches and baked goods. 
  • They also sell JUST Egg Folded, a frozen patty that can be popped in the toaster and eaten in wraps, sandwiches and the like. 
  • And it’s pretty smoking hot in the plant-based world right now: the company has been named ‘World-Changing Company of the Year’ and raised a stunning $200m in a funding round this spring. 
  • Eat Just says it’s already sold 100 million of its ‘eggs’ around the world and has a pretty solid 99.2% share of the plant-based egg segment. 
  • The secrets to their success? Perhaps their commitment to marketing that has made egg alternatives more mainstream, and 
  • They’ve also included Michelin-starred chefs on their R&D team...to really crack that egg taste and texture that may have held other alternatives back. 
  • The company aims to launch JUST Egg in Europe by the end of 2021 and is currently building a $120m alt-egg production site in Singapore.

🥚 Case study: EggField

  • Zurich-based EggField bill their product as ‘just like eggs, but grown in a field’ - their egg replacement is made with pulses.
  • Founder Silvan Leibacher said that pulses were chosen for the startup’s egg replacement due to their ‘attractive nutritional profile’ and widespread availability.
  • The B2B Swiss startup is focusing on the egg ingredients industry as more than half of the 1.2 trillion produced yearly are destined for use as industrial ingredients in consumer products (e.g. ready-made cakes and biscuits). 
  • Leibacher says: ‘With consumers starting to care about ingredients, people are starting to wonder if all these weird ingredients such as modified starches and additives on the label are really necessary. At Eggfield, we focus entirely on helping B2B brands and food processing companies to replace eggs in their current product range and together develop new plant-based product variants that meet the needs of the consumers.’
  • Eggfield has two unique products in the pipeline at present. The first addresses egg functionalities such as foaming, emulsification and binding to create texture and structures in products (such recipes usually contain up to 70% egg content). It is mainly focused on categories such as baking, deserts, sauces & dressings and cooking. Because of its natural taste - which is key in this category - it can be used in a variety of products and applications just like whole egg or egg white.
  • The second product is designed to interact well with a variety of plant-based proteins, and improves the texture of cakes, quiches and similar products.
  • Eggfield are currently focusing on bringing their first product to industrial scale while collaborating closely with selected customers across the company’s four focus categories. They’re also continuing to invest in R&D to further the product development of their second product.

👍 The good

  • The best benefit of true-to-life egg substitutes? They allow consumers to continue to allow the foods they love, whether that’s an egg tortilla or a soufflé, without the ethical and environmental guilt attached to conventionally produced eggs. 
  • Egg replacements also have health benefits: by picking and choosing what they include in a product, alt-egg makers can produce substitutes that are high in protein but free from cholesterol, and still have all the nutritional benefits of real eggs.   
  • While alternative eggs are primarily aimed at plant-based vegans, they’ll also help flexitarians (also known as ‘ethical omnivores’) and those with an egg allergy

👎 The bad

  • Alt-egg startups have their work cut out for them, given the height of consumer expectations. Shoppers want a ‘clean’ ingredients list, health benefits and preservative-free options when it comes to plant-based eggs. 
  • While millennials and Gen Z-ers are driving demand for egg alternatives, brands may have a harder time convincing older consumers to accept egg alternatives. 
  • There’s pricing to consider, too - at present, all of the leading plant-based egg products are much more expensive than their conventional counterparts. 
  • And the manufacturers of egg substitutes need to get their product just right before introducing it to market – with a growing raft of startups on the scene, consumers will quickly gravitate to the product that can imitate real eggs most closely, leaving less realistic substitutes on the sidelines. Those with multiple functionalities - for example, working well in both an omelette and a cake - will win out. 

💡 The bottom line

  • It’s clear that hatching egg substitutes is a growing market, one that’s sure to be lucrative for investors and popular with certain segments of consumers. 
  • But startups in the space also have to put in the research to make convincingly realistic alternatives that act as close to real eggs as possible!

How did you like today's Trends?

Love it 😁 Meh 😐 Hate it 🙁

🍽️ What is it?

  • Vegan burgers tend to grab the headlines, but in the background, forward-looking food tech entrepreneurs have been busy hatching a plant-based version of one of the most key animal proteins in the world: eggs!
  • It was never going to be easy - the texture, taste and binding properties of eggs are tough to mimic - but that hasn’t stopped the emerging band of startups in this sector giving it a go.

🤔 Tell me more…

  • Replicating eggs isn’t for the faint of heart. Consumers expect egg substitutes to thicken, bind, rise, scramble and fry up just like normal eggs do as well as to feel and taste like their favourite dishes on the dinner table. 
  • Startups in the alt-egg sector have to think about nutrition too. After all, conventional chicken-laid eggs are superstores of vitamins, minerals and protein - and shoppers expect the same benefits from their plant-based counterparts. 
  • While the egg substitutes market is not yet the size of the alt milk and meat markets, it is growing steadily and investors are taking notice. 

🤷 Why?

  • Most of us know the inhumane conditions that come with factory farming, but eggs are such a staple food, many people are reluctant to give them up. 9 in 10 of the (over) one trillion eggs eaten every year around the world are factory-farmed. But for ethically minded millennials and Gen Z, especially, the animal cruelty associated with farmed eggs is driving them to consider egg alternatives in droves. And there’s a real joy in enjoying your eggs, however you like them, free from guilt. 
  • Eggs are also subject to seasonal variations, which affects their price and influences the profit margins for both manufacturers and retailers (and the cost for consumers). So some manufacturers who rely on eggs in industrial quantities are looking for more cost-friendly and reliable alternatives. 
  • Then there’s the fact that the poultry industry doesn’t have the best of reputations. There’s been several outbreaks of diseases such as avian flu and salmonella in recent years that have dampened consumer confidence in the safety of eggs. Egg alternatives offer greater control for manufacturers and peace of mind for wary customers.
Evo Foods in India are useing lentils in their liquid egg replacement

🔍 How is it shaping up?

  • The egg alternatives space can be separated into a handful of distinct categories: bakery & confectionery, mayonnaise & sauces, and direct egg replacements, to fry, scramble or use in an omelette.
  • A fair few companies are using pulses and legumes to concoct their plant-based ‘eggs’. Widely and cheaply available, they’re a plus on the sustainability front and 100% vegan too, of course. EVO in India uses lentils in their liquid egg replacement while OnlyEG in Singapore are using a mixture of legumes in their ‘whole egg’ substitute. In the US, Univar is also using pulses (fava beans, in fact) due to their high protein content. 
  • Some startups are concentrating on cracking the egg ingredients market - tackling the mass use of eggs in consumer products like pre-made baked goods and CPGs. This is a massive sector, growing at a CAGR of 5.5%. Swiss startup EggField are hoping to crack this space, as are Grupo Mantiqueira in Brazil with their pea-based N.Ovo. replacement product for baked goods. 
  • And home bakers have options too: OGGS have made a liquid egg white alternative with aquafaba that can be used to make vegan meringue and cakes, while products like Nutrilac or Regg-Ex by Kröner-Stärke provide natural substitutes, enabling bakers to reduce the egg content in their recipes by 30-100%. 
  • Others are trying to replicate the taste, texture and mouthfeel of eggs more directly whether in a scramble, or hash, or a Spanish tortilla. Companies including Veggletto, market-leading JUST and Spero Foods’ Scramblit are all working in this area. Many are concentrating on egg whites, like Clara Foods, while aforementioned OnlyEG are trying to replicate the ‘whole egg’ experience with a plant-based substitute that achieves a level of likeness close to a real chicken egg, whilst canada-based Noblegen, has a whole egg powder made using an ‘ancient microorganisms’ called euglena gracilis (typically found in fresh and salt water).
View the database of 20+ Alt-Eggs Companies here

👀 Who? (23 companies in this space)

  • Clara Foods (proprietary yeast fermentation to replace egg, USA) 
  • CRACKD (liquid plant-based egg replacement, UK)
  • EggField (plant-based eggs ‘grown in a field’, Switzerland) 
  • Egg’n’up by SavorEat (cellulose-based alternative egg product, Israel) 
  • EVO (liquid plant-based eggs made with lentils, India)
  • Just Egg (liquid egg alternative, USA) 
  • Le Papondu (formerly Merveilloeufs) (functional egg replacement, France)
  • Moolec (egg alternative for baking, UK)
  • N. Ovo. (egg substitute for baked goods using peas, Brazil)
  • Eunite Foods by Noblegen (egg alternative made with fermentation, Canada)
  • OGGS (egg white alternative using aquafaba, UK)
  • OnlyEG by Float Foods (legume-based plant-based egg, Singapore
  • Orgran Vegan Easy Egg (vegetable-based egg alternative, Australia) 
  • Osomoegg by OsomeFood ('immunity boosting' hard-boiled eggs, Singapore)
  • Peggs (chickpea vegan egg alternative, USA)
  • Scramblit by Spero Foods (plant-based egg made with sunflower seeds, USA)
  • Simply Eggless (vegan liquid eggs made with lupin beans, USA)
  • Talgama Foods by Algama (egg replacement ingredient for baked goods)
  • Univar (pulse-based egg replacement, USA)
  • VeganEgg (plant-based egg replacer, USA)
  • Veggletto (egg-alternative in powder form, Australia) 
  • Yumgo Blanc (plant-based egg white substitute, France)
  • Zero Egg (plant-based vegan egg replacer, Israel)

📈 The figures

  • Worldwide, the egg replacement market is on the up and up: it’s expected to reach a size of $1.15bn by 2022.
  • The Good Food Institute estimates that the plant-based egg sector is currently worth $27 million, and from 2019-2020 it experienced a growth rate of 168 percent.
JUST Egg  - a pourable vegan egg replacement made from mung bean protein.

 🍳 Case study: JUST Egg

  • Just Inc., a San Francisco-based enterprise, makes JUST Egg  - a pourable vegan egg replacement made from mung bean protein. 
  • The liquid egg alternative can be cooked the same way you would a real egg - scrambled, fried and the like, or used in cakes, quiches and baked goods. 
  • They also sell JUST Egg Folded, a frozen patty that can be popped in the toaster and eaten in wraps, sandwiches and the like. 
  • And it’s pretty smoking hot in the plant-based world right now: the company has been named ‘World-Changing Company of the Year’ and raised a stunning $200m in a funding round this spring. 
  • Eat Just says it’s already sold 100 million of its ‘eggs’ around the world and has a pretty solid 99.2% share of the plant-based egg segment. 
  • The secrets to their success? Perhaps their commitment to marketing that has made egg alternatives more mainstream, and 
  • They’ve also included Michelin-starred chefs on their R&D team...to really crack that egg taste and texture that may have held other alternatives back. 
  • The company aims to launch JUST Egg in Europe by the end of 2021 and is currently building a $120m alt-egg production site in Singapore.

🥚 Case study: EggField

  • Zurich-based EggField bill their product as ‘just like eggs, but grown in a field’ - their egg replacement is made with pulses.
  • Founder Silvan Leibacher said that pulses were chosen for the startup’s egg replacement due to their ‘attractive nutritional profile’ and widespread availability.
  • The B2B Swiss startup is focusing on the egg ingredients industry as more than half of the 1.2 trillion produced yearly are destined for use as industrial ingredients in consumer products (e.g. ready-made cakes and biscuits). 
  • Leibacher says: ‘With consumers starting to care about ingredients, people are starting to wonder if all these weird ingredients such as modified starches and additives on the label are really necessary. At Eggfield, we focus entirely on helping B2B brands and food processing companies to replace eggs in their current product range and together develop new plant-based product variants that meet the needs of the consumers.’
  • Eggfield has two unique products in the pipeline at present. The first addresses egg functionalities such as foaming, emulsification and binding to create texture and structures in products (such recipes usually contain up to 70% egg content). It is mainly focused on categories such as baking, deserts, sauces & dressings and cooking. Because of its natural taste - which is key in this category - it can be used in a variety of products and applications just like whole egg or egg white.
  • The second product is designed to interact well with a variety of plant-based proteins, and improves the texture of cakes, quiches and similar products.
  • Eggfield are currently focusing on bringing their first product to industrial scale while collaborating closely with selected customers across the company’s four focus categories. They’re also continuing to invest in R&D to further the product development of their second product.

👍 The good

  • The best benefit of true-to-life egg substitutes? They allow consumers to continue to allow the foods they love, whether that’s an egg tortilla or a soufflé, without the ethical and environmental guilt attached to conventionally produced eggs. 
  • Egg replacements also have health benefits: by picking and choosing what they include in a product, alt-egg makers can produce substitutes that are high in protein but free from cholesterol, and still have all the nutritional benefits of real eggs.   
  • While alternative eggs are primarily aimed at plant-based vegans, they’ll also help flexitarians (also known as ‘ethical omnivores’) and those with an egg allergy

👎 The bad

  • Alt-egg startups have their work cut out for them, given the height of consumer expectations. Shoppers want a ‘clean’ ingredients list, health benefits and preservative-free options when it comes to plant-based eggs. 
  • While millennials and Gen Z-ers are driving demand for egg alternatives, brands may have a harder time convincing older consumers to accept egg alternatives. 
  • There’s pricing to consider, too - at present, all of the leading plant-based egg products are much more expensive than their conventional counterparts. 
  • And the manufacturers of egg substitutes need to get their product just right before introducing it to market – with a growing raft of startups on the scene, consumers will quickly gravitate to the product that can imitate real eggs most closely, leaving less realistic substitutes on the sidelines. Those with multiple functionalities - for example, working well in both an omelette and a cake - will win out. 

💡 The bottom line

  • It’s clear that hatching egg substitutes is a growing market, one that’s sure to be lucrative for investors and popular with certain segments of consumers. 
  • But startups in the space also have to put in the research to make convincingly realistic alternatives that act as close to real eggs as possible!

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🍽️ What is it?

  • Vegan burgers tend to grab the headlines, but in the background, forward-looking food tech entrepreneurs have been busy hatching a plant-based version of one of the most key animal proteins in the world: eggs!
  • It was never going to be easy - the texture, taste and binding properties of eggs are tough to mimic - but that hasn’t stopped the emerging band of startups in this sector giving it a go.

🤔 Tell me more…

  • Replicating eggs isn’t for the faint of heart. Consumers expect egg substitutes to thicken, bind, rise, scramble and fry up just like normal eggs do as well as to feel and taste like their favourite dishes on the dinner table. 
  • Startups in the alt-egg sector have to think about nutrition too. After all, conventional chicken-laid eggs are superstores of vitamins, minerals and protein - and shoppers expect the same benefits from their plant-based counterparts. 
  • While the egg substitutes market is not yet the size of the alt milk and meat markets, it is growing steadily and investors are taking notice. 

🤷 Why?

  • Most of us know the inhumane conditions that come with factory farming, but eggs are such a staple food, many people are reluctant to give them up. 9 in 10 of the (over) one trillion eggs eaten every year around the world are factory-farmed. But for ethically minded millennials and Gen Z, especially, the animal cruelty associated with farmed eggs is driving them to consider egg alternatives in droves. And there’s a real joy in enjoying your eggs, however you like them, free from guilt. 
  • Eggs are also subject to seasonal variations, which affects their price and influences the profit margins for both manufacturers and retailers (and the cost for consumers). So some manufacturers who rely on eggs in industrial quantities are looking for more cost-friendly and reliable alternatives. 
  • Then there’s the fact that the poultry industry doesn’t have the best of reputations. There’s been several outbreaks of diseases such as avian flu and salmonella in recent years that have dampened consumer confidence in the safety of eggs. Egg alternatives offer greater control for manufacturers and peace of mind for wary customers.
Evo Foods in India are useing lentils in their liquid egg replacement

🔍 How is it shaping up?

  • The egg alternatives space can be separated into a handful of distinct categories: bakery & confectionery, mayonnaise & sauces, and direct egg replacements, to fry, scramble or use in an omelette.
  • A fair few companies are using pulses and legumes to concoct their plant-based ‘eggs’. Widely and cheaply available, they’re a plus on the sustainability front and 100% vegan too, of course. EVO in India uses lentils in their liquid egg replacement while OnlyEG in Singapore are using a mixture of legumes in their ‘whole egg’ substitute. In the US, Univar is also using pulses (fava beans, in fact) due to their high protein content. 
  • Some startups are concentrating on cracking the egg ingredients market - tackling the mass use of eggs in consumer products like pre-made baked goods and CPGs. This is a massive sector, growing at a CAGR of 5.5%. Swiss startup EggField are hoping to crack this space, as are Grupo Mantiqueira in Brazil with their pea-based N.Ovo. replacement product for baked goods. 
  • And home bakers have options too: OGGS have made a liquid egg white alternative with aquafaba that can be used to make vegan meringue and cakes, while products like Nutrilac or Regg-Ex by Kröner-Stärke provide natural substitutes, enabling bakers to reduce the egg content in their recipes by 30-100%. 
  • Others are trying to replicate the taste, texture and mouthfeel of eggs more directly whether in a scramble, or hash, or a Spanish tortilla. Companies including Veggletto, market-leading JUST and Spero Foods’ Scramblit are all working in this area. Many are concentrating on egg whites, like Clara Foods, while aforementioned OnlyEG are trying to replicate the ‘whole egg’ experience with a plant-based substitute that achieves a level of likeness close to a real chicken egg, whilst canada-based Noblegen, has a whole egg powder made using an ‘ancient microorganisms’ called euglena gracilis (typically found in fresh and salt water).
View the database of 20+ Alt-Eggs Companies here

👀 Who? (23 companies in this space)

  • Clara Foods (proprietary yeast fermentation to replace egg, USA) 
  • CRACKD (liquid plant-based egg replacement, UK)
  • EggField (plant-based eggs ‘grown in a field’, Switzerland) 
  • Egg’n’up by SavorEat (cellulose-based alternative egg product, Israel) 
  • EVO (liquid plant-based eggs made with lentils, India)
  • Just Egg (liquid egg alternative, USA) 
  • Le Papondu (formerly Merveilloeufs) (functional egg replacement, France)
  • Moolec (egg alternative for baking, UK)
  • N. Ovo. (egg substitute for baked goods using peas, Brazil)
  • Eunite Foods by Noblegen (egg alternative made with fermentation, Canada)
  • OGGS (egg white alternative using aquafaba, UK)
  • OnlyEG by Float Foods (legume-based plant-based egg, Singapore
  • Orgran Vegan Easy Egg (vegetable-based egg alternative, Australia) 
  • Osomoegg by OsomeFood ('immunity boosting' hard-boiled eggs, Singapore)
  • Peggs (chickpea vegan egg alternative, USA)
  • Scramblit by Spero Foods (plant-based egg made with sunflower seeds, USA)
  • Simply Eggless (vegan liquid eggs made with lupin beans, USA)
  • Talgama Foods by Algama (egg replacement ingredient for baked goods)
  • Univar (pulse-based egg replacement, USA)
  • VeganEgg (plant-based egg replacer, USA)
  • Veggletto (egg-alternative in powder form, Australia) 
  • Yumgo Blanc (plant-based egg white substitute, France)
  • Zero Egg (plant-based vegan egg replacer, Israel)

📈 The figures

  • Worldwide, the egg replacement market is on the up and up: it’s expected to reach a size of $1.15bn by 2022.
  • The Good Food Institute estimates that the plant-based egg sector is currently worth $27 million, and from 2019-2020 it experienced a growth rate of 168 percent.
JUST Egg  - a pourable vegan egg replacement made from mung bean protein.

 🍳 Case study: JUST Egg

  • Just Inc., a San Francisco-based enterprise, makes JUST Egg  - a pourable vegan egg replacement made from mung bean protein. 
  • The liquid egg alternative can be cooked the same way you would a real egg - scrambled, fried and the like, or used in cakes, quiches and baked goods. 
  • They also sell JUST Egg Folded, a frozen patty that can be popped in the toaster and eaten in wraps, sandwiches and the like. 
  • And it’s pretty smoking hot in the plant-based world right now: the company has been named ‘World-Changing Company of the Year’ and raised a stunning $200m in a funding round this spring. 
  • Eat Just says it’s already sold 100 million of its ‘eggs’ around the world and has a pretty solid 99.2% share of the plant-based egg segment. 
  • The secrets to their success? Perhaps their commitment to marketing that has made egg alternatives more mainstream, and 
  • They’ve also included Michelin-starred chefs on their R&D team...to really crack that egg taste and texture that may have held other alternatives back. 
  • The company aims to launch JUST Egg in Europe by the end of 2021 and is currently building a $120m alt-egg production site in Singapore.

🥚 Case study: EggField

  • Zurich-based EggField bill their product as ‘just like eggs, but grown in a field’ - their egg replacement is made with pulses.
  • Founder Silvan Leibacher said that pulses were chosen for the startup’s egg replacement due to their ‘attractive nutritional profile’ and widespread availability.
  • The B2B Swiss startup is focusing on the egg ingredients industry as more than half of the 1.2 trillion produced yearly are destined for use as industrial ingredients in consumer products (e.g. ready-made cakes and biscuits). 
  • Leibacher says: ‘With consumers starting to care about ingredients, people are starting to wonder if all these weird ingredients such as modified starches and additives on the label are really necessary. At Eggfield, we focus entirely on helping B2B brands and food processing companies to replace eggs in their current product range and together develop new plant-based product variants that meet the needs of the consumers.’
  • Eggfield has two unique products in the pipeline at present. The first addresses egg functionalities such as foaming, emulsification and binding to create texture and structures in products (such recipes usually contain up to 70% egg content). It is mainly focused on categories such as baking, deserts, sauces & dressings and cooking. Because of its natural taste - which is key in this category - it can be used in a variety of products and applications just like whole egg or egg white.
  • The second product is designed to interact well with a variety of plant-based proteins, and improves the texture of cakes, quiches and similar products.
  • Eggfield are currently focusing on bringing their first product to industrial scale while collaborating closely with selected customers across the company’s four focus categories. They’re also continuing to invest in R&D to further the product development of their second product.

👍 The good

  • The best benefit of true-to-life egg substitutes? They allow consumers to continue to allow the foods they love, whether that’s an egg tortilla or a soufflé, without the ethical and environmental guilt attached to conventionally produced eggs. 
  • Egg replacements also have health benefits: by picking and choosing what they include in a product, alt-egg makers can produce substitutes that are high in protein but free from cholesterol, and still have all the nutritional benefits of real eggs.   
  • While alternative eggs are primarily aimed at plant-based vegans, they’ll also help flexitarians (also known as ‘ethical omnivores’) and those with an egg allergy

👎 The bad

  • Alt-egg startups have their work cut out for them, given the height of consumer expectations. Shoppers want a ‘clean’ ingredients list, health benefits and preservative-free options when it comes to plant-based eggs. 
  • While millennials and Gen Z-ers are driving demand for egg alternatives, brands may have a harder time convincing older consumers to accept egg alternatives. 
  • There’s pricing to consider, too - at present, all of the leading plant-based egg products are much more expensive than their conventional counterparts. 
  • And the manufacturers of egg substitutes need to get their product just right before introducing it to market – with a growing raft of startups on the scene, consumers will quickly gravitate to the product that can imitate real eggs most closely, leaving less realistic substitutes on the sidelines. Those with multiple functionalities - for example, working well in both an omelette and a cake - will win out. 

💡 The bottom line

  • It’s clear that hatching egg substitutes is a growing market, one that’s sure to be lucrative for investors and popular with certain segments of consumers. 
  • But startups in the space also have to put in the research to make convincingly realistic alternatives that act as close to real eggs as possible!

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