JUST, a company that produces plant-based eggs, and Michael Foods, a subsidiary of Post Holdings and one of the largest processors of value-added eggs in the world, announced May 18 a groundbreaking new partnership to bring the plant-based JUST Egg to millions more consumers in the U.S.
Under the arrangement, Michael Foods will be the exclusive manufacturer, supplier and distributor of JUST Egg to foodservice and food ingredient customers that are already familiar with their leading egg brands, such as Papetti’s, Abbotsford Farms and Davidson’s Safest Choice, and are in search of a unique, plant-based egg product.
“For over 100 years, the Michael Foods family of businesses have leveraged quality ingredients and cutting-edge processes to offer the finest products and solutions to their customers. This partnership adds an innovative new product to their impressive portfolio,” said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and chief executive officer of JUST. “Our companies share a great deal in common. We're fathers and brothers and sisters and mothers, all sharing a belief that the food we eat is one of the most important choices we make. Signing this partnership is one of the proudest moments in our company's journey to build a better food system.”
Mark Westphal, president of Michael Foods, said, “We are excited about this new partnership. Eggs will continue to be a nutritious and affordable staple in America’s diet, and JUST’s plant-based egg products offer a great complement to our value-added eggs by allowing customers to serve every consumer their preference.”
He continued, “Working together, we are bringing innovation and options to the food industry.”
JUST also announced a partnership with Emsland Group, a worldwide leader in manufacturing raw materials from vegetables, to expand its protein processing capacity. The partnership will provide the scale needed to meet increasing global demand for marketing in the U.S. Since 1928, Emsland Group, headquartered in Emlichheim, Germany, has manufactured innovative pea and potato products that are essential elements in a wide range of food applications. The company will process mung bean protein for JUST, which is the key ingredient in JUST Egg.
JUST Egg comes in two formats: a pourable liquid ideal for scrambles, omelets, quiche, stir-fry and a wide variety of baking applications, and a fluffy, pre-baked, folded egg patty, ideal for on top of toast or in a breakfast sandwich. Its key ingredient is protein derived from mung beans, a legume that has been cultivated for thousands of years and is a dietary staple in Asia. The product is cholesterol free, dairy free, non-genetically modified, Kosher certified and packed with as much protein as many other plant and animal proteins. Further, JUST noted that the product uses 98% less water, 86% less land and emit 93% less carbon dioxide than conventional animal sources.
In its first full year of distribution, JUST launched with leading U.S. retailers and grocers such as Walmart, Kroger, Whole Foods, Safeway, Albertsons, Giant, Wegmans, Publix and online via Amazon and Fresh Direct, among others. The company noted that at a top five retailer, sales velocity has quadrupled since the product's debut, and in grocery, velocity has grown 51% since December, with large gains at top national chains. In addition, a growing number of quick-service restaurants and other foodservice destinations like college campuses, amusement parks, hospitals and corporate cafeterias have added JUST Egg to their menus.