Vegan eggs could be destined for the UK after plant-based tech startup Just confirmed its first European distribution deal.
San Francisco-headquartered Just, formerly known as Hampton Creek, has agreed a deal with Italian egg supplier Eurovo Group following the US launch of its plant-based alternative to liquid eggs last month.
The Just Egg, which claims to “cook and taste like conventional chicken eggs” is made with mung beans using 77% less water than standard eggs and emits 40% fewer greenhouse gases during production, said Just.
It initially went on sale in US fast food joint the Veggie Grill, and is not yet on grocery market shelves in the US, with listings in online retailer Jet, US supermarket Wegmans and catering giants Sysco and Aramark set to begin in the next few weeks.
“When Eurovo’s team visited Just to see our world-class R&D operation and when I travelled to Italy to tour their impressive egg production and egg processing facilities, there was a sense of mutual respect and admiration for innovation and science,” said Just co-founder and CEO Josh Tetrick.
“Despite our differences in approach, together we can bring food that’s better for consumers and better for the planet, to more people, faster.”
Just’s product is set to become the first “non-animal product” in producer and distributor Eurovo’s portfolio. Though there is currently no time scale in place for a European launch, the brand brought its existing range of alternatives to Hong Kong earlier this year.
Best known for its plant-based mayos and salad dressings, Just has also developed a clean meat offering after receiving a $220m investment and is set to reward that with its first commercial product expected to go on sale by the end of this year.
“Balancing modernity and tradition while embracing changing consumer preferences and reducing our environmental footprint is a cornerstone of our business and this relationship ensures that this approach will continue,” said group president Siro Lionello of Eurovo, which primarily operates in Italy, Spain, France, Poland and Romania.
“Our alliance with Just fits into an innovation and sustainability strategy that began more than 20 years ago with Eurovo Group’s investments in alternative farming of cage-free, free-range and organic eggs and egg products, as well as an antibiotic-free egg products portfolio in response to animal welfare practices and demands of our customers.”