As a first big challenge, the company decided to replace the cheapest source of animal protein on the planet – the conventional chicken egg. There are 1,1 trillion chicken eggs produced around the world yearly and all the pre-existing tools were not helpful in terms of creating a vegan analogue.
To solve the problem, JUST followed the scientific approach and started looking for a solution in the plant world, hoping to find something among the 357,000+ species of plants that exist in the world. They sourced plants from 53 countries, milled them into powder, looked at molecular and functional characteristics and tested their performance in the real world.
Many plants just evaporated on the pan. But then they found a green mung bean that scrambled on the pan. It has been in the food system for more than 4300 years and is widely known in Asia. Free of cholesterol and antibiotics, mung bean has an amount of protein similar to that of a chicken egg, needs significantly less water and land and, most importantly, has a familiar taste.
How to help consumers make an ethical choice?
At the moment, Just Egg is 4-5 times more expensive than a conventional egg. In the next couple of years, the price should go below the cost of production for the conventional chicken egg.
Josh Tetrick is not a big believer in behaviour change. In order to make a difference, you need to create a good thing which is delicious and affordable. “We don’t want the people to eat space food, we want to enjoy eggs with their family as they are used to,” adds Josh. When an average cook takes JUST egg home, it behaves like a regular chicken egg on the pan and has the same texture and versatility of taste.