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The Silicon Valley startup behind ‘Just Mayo’ will finally sell vegan eggs in grocery stores



just scramble omeletteHampton

  • Just Inc., the
    Silicon Valley food startup
    known for its Just Mayo and
    egg-free cookie dough, will finally be selling its vegan
    scrambled egg product in grocery stores.
  • The product, called Just Egg, has been six years in the
  • Difficulties creating the right texture, flavor, and
    shelf-life held the product back since the company first began
    talking about it in 2011.

After several controversies and six years of development, Silicon
Valley startup
Just Inc.
(formerly known as Hampton Creek) has finally
cracked the eggless egg.

Since its founding in 2011, the
$1.1-billion vegan food company
known for its Just Mayo and
vegan cookie dough has been promising an animal-free scrambled
egg product that could be purchased in grocery stores. The
company’s mission is to transform the way we eat by swapping the
animal products we eat for equally tasty plant-based goods.

And in two weeks, big box retailers like Gelson’s and Safeway,
along with a handful of Midwestern chains, will become the first
stores to carry Just Egg. It’ll be sold alongside regular eggs.

For the company, Just Egg “was definitely a signature product,”
Josh Tetrick, Just’s co-founder
and CEO, told Business Insider.

But that holy grail of an animal-free scrambled egg product
turned out to be harder to make than the company initially

‘We’ll be able to find something that scrambles like an egg in no

Hampton Creek Just MayoBiz Carson/Business Insider

When Tetrick first started trying to create an egg-free scrambled
egg product, he figured it wouldn’t take more than a few months.
But that’s not what happened.

“When I first started I thought,

u know, there’s so many
plants out there, we’ll be able to find something that scrambles
like an egg in no time,” Tetrick said.

But every time Tetrick’s team
came up with an eggless recipe, one variable was always

We’d find something that would gel like an
egg but tasted too plant-like. Or we’d find something that had
the egg taste but wouldn’t gel,” said Tetrick.

Then came the controversy.
Allegations surfaced that members of the company had
artificially inflated sales
by buying up their own products.
And former
employees claimed
 to Business Insider that the company
was using shoddy science, and spoke of an uncomfortable and
unsafe work environment.

But despite lagging behind on a
vegan egg product that could stand on its own, the company
succeeded at making a handful of other tasty items that normally
require eggs. Vegan cookie dough, mayo, and salad dressing began
to grace grocery store shelves bearing the Hampton Creek label.
The company raised $220 million.

Then, finally, hope surfaced in
the form of a humble plant that Tetrick’s team simply calls

Cracking the eggless egg with ‘Jack’

just scramble pattyErin Brodwin / Business

Plants are the centerpiece of Just’s operation. The company’s
mission is to transform the way we eat by swapping the animal
products in food for vegetable-based alternatives. Pea protein is
the basis for Just Mayo, while Just Cookies and Just Dough are
made with sorghum, a tall-growing cereal grain used widely in
animal feed.

But to create a stand-alone egg product with a texture, flavor,
and scrambling time similar to regular eggs, Tetrick’s team had
to look beyond sorghum or peas. Then they found mung beans.

Mung beans, which Tetrick’s team simply refer to as “Jack,” give
the liquid mixture the right consistency and nutritional makeup,
along with a 60-day shelf-life. On a recent tour of the company’s
we gave the eggless egg a try
. To us, it didn’t taste exactly
like eggs on its own. But serve the steaming mixture atop a
crunchy piece of toast or a bagel with a little seasoning, and we
think it could
fool most people

The new product, which is free of egg, dairy, and cholesterol but
high in protein and sells for $7.99 for a 12-oz bottle (the
equivalent of roughly a half-dozen eggs), will be sold in 26
grocery stores across the country before the end of September.
It’s also been accepted into Amazon Launchpad, the company’s
brand accelerator program, which means it could also be sold on
Amazon Fresh in coming months.

“We’re really happy with it,” Tetrick said of Just Egg. “Little
did I know it would take 6 years and some of my hairs would turn
gray, but thankfully we figured out a way to get it done.” 

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