European vegans nearly turned green with envy while waiting for Eat Just’s JUST Egg to arrive across the pond. Now, after a year of anticipation, the wait is over. The California-based brand just announced that the European Commission finally approved the commercial sale of its signature mung bean protein. Eat Just’s innovative egg replacer first received the green light from European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in October 2021 but needed this final sign-off.
Eat Just’s JUST Egg distinguishes itself from competitors by using the inventive mung bean protein blend, designed to mimic the taste, cookability, and nutrient content of traditional animal-based eggs. The approval from the EFSA marks the first time that the administration has deemed a novel legume protein to be safe since 1997. The decision will set a new precedent for plant-based foods across Europe as Eat Just plans to distribute its highly acclaimed egg replacer by the end of the year.
“Forward-thinking consumers in Europe have been asking for JUST Egg since the day it launched in the US,” Co-Founder and CEO of Eat Just Josh Tetrick said in a statement. “Whether because of climate change, health, or a connection to animals, the demand has been significant as has interest from retail and foodservice partners. I’m grateful for the recent approval, which opens the door to begin distribution across Europe before the end of the year.”
Eat Just revealed that Germany and Denmark are “key targets” for JUST Egg. The company also plans to enter the United Kingdom soon, noting that Eat Just is working with the UK’s Food Standards Agency on a regulatory path to market.
Plant-Based Eggs Strive for Price Parity with Chicken Eggs
Founded in 2011, Eat Just set out to create a plant-based egg replacer that could make traditional chicken eggs obsolete. The company first revealed its JUST Egg product in 2019, becoming an international sensation within a month. The company rapidly expanded its distribution range across the United States and into Canada, South Africa, and China. Working closely with retailers and chefs, Eat Just’s egg replacers aims to revolutionize animal-free cooking.
Eat Just continues to redevelop the JUST Egg to reduce its price. The company intends to make its egg replacer the most affordable egg product on the market – plant-based or not. The company has brought down the price of its 12-ounce bottle by 35 percent, available for $4.99 instead of $7.99 on average. Some retailers have the mung bean egg replacer available for as low as $3.94. The company claims the bottle is equivalent to 8 eggs, and with a dozen of chicken eggs available for $6 a dozen, Eat Just is nearing price parity.
“This first-ever EU approval for a novel legume protein marks a key step forward for the plant-based food sector. It’s excellent news that European citizens will soon be able to try JUST Egg, which consumers in other parts of the world already enjoy,” Senior Policy Manager at the Good Food Institute Europe Alex Holst said in a statement. “European regulators should continue to assess new plant-based ingredients efficiently and make more sustainable options available to consumers.”
Saving the Planet One Egg at a Time
Eat Just’s signature egg replacer is taking on the chicken egg industry worldwide, and now, the company plans to significantly cut into egg sales across Europe. Currently, more than 1.3 trillion eggs are consumed annually worldwide. Within Europe, people eat approximately 110 billion eggs – leading to major ethical and safety issues across European egg industries. As seen in The New York Times expose, the poultry industry bypasses safety and health protocol for efficiency, leading to risks of zoonotic disease.
Eat Just also emphasizes that its JUST Egg products provide customers with a remarkably sustainable alternative to traditional eggs. JUST Egg uses 86 percent less land, wastes 98 percent less water, and produces a 93 percent smaller carbon footprint than its animal-based counterparts. With its entrance into Europe, Eat Just will help promote an already accelerating plant-based egg market. Current estimates project that the global vegan egg market will reach $1.2 billion by 2031.
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