Eat JUST, Inc. scales up to full-time production of JUST Egg mung bean protein to meet consumer demand

By Mary Ellen Shoup contact

- Last updated on GMT

Eat Just, Inc. CEO Josh Tetrick (left) and Del Dee co-owner Mike Lind (right) Photo: JUST, Inc.
Eat Just, Inc. CEO Josh Tetrick (left) and Del Dee co-owner Mike Lind (right) Photo: JUST, Inc.

Related tags: JUST Inc, plant based

Through the acquisition of a 30,000-square-foot facility in Appleton, Minnesota, Eat JUST, Inc. can now scale up to 24/7 production of its plant-based protein isolate extracted from mung beans, the key ingredient in JUST Egg.

In its first full year of distribution, JUST Egg entered Walmart, Kroger, Whole Foods​, and Safeway stores.

The brand also entered the foodservice channel where it's served on the menu at more than 500 universities, corporate cafeterias, and individual restaurants in major

JUSTEGG_body

cities. Whole Foods will also launch scrambled vegan JUST Egg at the hot bar​of 63 stores in the Southern Pacific region (Arizona, Hawaii, Southern California, and Las Vegas, Nevada) on January 1, 2020.

Additionally, Whole Foods is launching three new breakfast sandwiches featuring the mung-bean-based vegan egg which will be available at the stores’ pizza station or hot bar during breakfast hours. 

The company is also readying for broad retail and foodservice distribution worldwide after launching JUST Egg in China, Hong Kong, and Singapore. 

To date, JUST has sold the plant-based equivalent of more than 17 million chicken eggs and holds a 44% share of the liquid egg category, which is now growing at 34%, vs. shrinking -23% prior to JUST Egg's launch, according to SPINS 3 month data ending August 2019. Additionally, JUST Egg has outsold 29 of the 60 egg SKUS at a major nationwide retailer, claims the company.

JUST Egg’s main ingredient is mung bean protein isolate and combined with other ingredients including expeller-pressed canola oil and natural carrot and turmeric extracts (to create a golden color). The final product is cholesterol-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, and Kosher certified with 5g protein per serving.

Scaling up to 24/7 production

The acquisition of the new facility will support the scaling of JUST's patented mung bean protein extraction process. Once the transaction is complete, the western Minnesota facility will be responsible for the majority of JUST's protein processing. 

“To make our mission happen, we need to scale. Separating the protein from the bean requires talent, proprietary processing and a supportive community. We found all that and more in Appleton,”​ said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of JUST, adding that the facility has a history of food processing innovation. 

The western Minnesota facility, which operated as Del Dee Foods for more than 30 years prior to the acquisition by JUST Inc., used to convert whey into a functional food ingredient for the global whey protein market, which is now a $10bn industry. 

Bags of mung bean flour
Bags of mung bean flour at JUST's Appleton, Minnesota facility. 

JUST has already invested millions of dollars in processing equipment for the site and will continue to expand its footprint in Appleton. The multi-story facility houses industrial food processing equipment, a quality assurance laboratory, warehousing and administrative offices, with ample room for further expansion. 

The facility now has the ability to support JUST’s production needs up to six days a week, 24 hours a day, and the company intends to attract more talent to operate seven days a week. JUST will ultimately double the workforce at its Minnesota production facility with employees becoming JUST team members receiving full benefits and equity in the company, which was valued at more than $1bn in 2017. 

"Acquiring Del Dee is instrumental in creating a manufacturing infrastructure for JUST Egg that is dependable, efficient and expandable as the company plans for future growth,"​ the company said. 

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