"We want JUST Egg to be the egg people are growing up with. If you think about egg and all of its applications -- from baked to scrambled and of course sous vide -- we want JUST Egg to shine in all of those applications," co-founder and CEO at Eat Just Josh Tetrick told FoodNavigator-USA.
"And we want to do it for tens of millions of around the world and that's what led us to Cuisine Solutions."
Cuisine Solutions, which services more than 22,000 restaurants, 6,000 retailers, and the top 10 airlines in the world, has the expertise and experience to create sous vide foods at scale.
"We have invested over $500m in the past six years in technology, innovation, and ideation, and we know what to do to develop new items and innovations," said Cuisine Solutions CEO Felipe Hasselmann.
Flavors of JUST Egg's sous vide egg bites -- made from mung bean protein -- include America (roasted potato, dill, chives, red bell pepper and black pepper); India (curry, broccoli, cauliflower, coconut milk and lemongrass); Japan (portobello mushrooms, yams, togarashi, soy and tamari); and Mexico (roasted poblanos, chipotle chile powder, black beans, corn and lime). The products are solid as a box of four that can be heated in a conventional oven, toaster oven, or microwave.
Each egg bite contains between 9-13g of protein per serving.
Why sous vide?
The cooking technique of sous vide -- the process by which food (from eggs to filet mignon) is sealed in a vacuum-sealed plastic container and submerged in temperature-controlled water -- has been around since 1970s, said Hasselmann.
A top trend on the National Restaurant Association's trends report for the past three years, sous vide has become a well-recognized cooking method among consumers popularized by food service accounts such as Starbucks. And while home sous vide equipment has become more popular and accessible to consumers, the real market opportunity is in the convenient 'heat and eat' space, according to Hasselmann.
With sous vide, the raw material has nowhere to hide, added Hasselmann, who said that working with JUST Egg mung-bean based 'egg' was an exciting project for the company.
"If you have a great raw material, you're going to have an outstanding product. JUST Egg has the best products you can find in the market and it wasn't so much a question of if we can do it, but when can we start," said Hasselmann.
Speaking of how JUST Egg performed in a sous vide application, Tetrick shared that JUST Egg sous vide egg bites uses the company's improved 'Version 3' formulation which has a fluffier texture and creamier, lighter mouthfeel.
"Version 2 would not have worked effectively in this application. In order to make this work, it was another reason for us to drive on Version 3 development," said Tetrick.
Launching nationally with Fresh Thyme, JUST Egg Sous Vide bites will sit next to JUST Egg folded baked plant-based egg products (which has become the #1 frozen breakfast item at top 4 retailer and #1 frozen breakfast entree in the natural channel, according to the company) in the freezer aisle for an SRP of $8.99.
The company shared that a number of other regional and national retailers have signed on to carry JUST Egg's latest innovation which will be announced in the coming months.
As part of its global partnership with Cuisine Solutions, Tetrick added that JUST Egg has plans to launch into the foodservice channel as well.