‘It looks, cooks, tastes and acts like the real thing…’ PURIS unveils AcreMade egg substitute consumer brand

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

There is still only a relatively small– albeit rapidly-growing - number of players making egg alternatives for retail. Image credit: PURIS
There is still only a relatively small– albeit rapidly-growing - number of players making egg alternatives for retail. Image credit: PURIS

Related tags AcreMade Puris Pea protein plant-based eggs plant-based protein plant-based

PURIS - which recently opened a facility in Dawson, Minnesota that more than doubled its production capacity, cementing its position as the leading supplier of pea protein in North America - has moved into new territory with its first consumer brand dedicated to egg replacement: AcreMade.

The product is debuting direct to consumer at acremade.com​ (eight 4.9oz bags making 96 servings in total for $54.99), but retail accounts will follow, CEO Nicole Atchison told FoodNavigator-USA: “We’re currently in talks with retailers who all see the potential with plant-based eggs given the challenges of the past couple years​.”

Industrial markets are also being targeted, said Atchison, who said multiple factors are driving CPG companies to replace eggs, from ongoing volatility in the egg market where prices and supplies can yoyo sharply, to demand for allergen-friendly, plant-based, or welfare-friendly options: “AcreMade’s​ unique scale enables us to serve unaddressed markets within ingredients and manufacturing, so we’re actively working with brand partners who seek to remove egg as an allergen, or to add plant-based egg to their products.”

She added: “Foodservice is also a huge opportunity. The industry needs convenient, affordable, available options, and we can deliver on this and we designed our product to meet the nutritional requirements of children and to be top-nine allergen free.”

Powder can work in scrambles and baking applications

While plant-based egg substitute brands have struggled to find a solution that works equally well for scrambles and baking applications where you need aeration, AcreMade’s first product – an ‘allergy-friendly’ shelf-stable powdered egg substitute – is claimed to work well for both kinds of applications.

Made from yellow pea protein, lupin flour, pea starch, gellan gum, methylcellulose, sea salt, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, natural flavor, onion powder, dried yeast, calcium carbonate and turmeric, AcreMade egg substitute is the first in a series of products PURIS plans to launch under the AcreMade brand, said Atchison.

“We have different varieties in the pipeline (think: frozen patties for foodservice or replacing eggs in pre-made cakes), but the foundation that we will build upon is our better plant-based egg. AcreMade has a dedicated R&D team making this possible.”

AcreMade’s egg substitute – an ‘allergy-friendly’ shelf-stable powdered – is claimed to work well for scrambles and baking applications. Image credit: PURIS

How does AcreMade compare with conventional and plant-based eggs?

As a manufacturer of pea protein, PURIS has an obvious advantage over some other players in egg alternatives in that it is vertically integrated, but what’s distinctive about AcreMade itself?

According to Atchison: “Our product isn’t just filling in for egg binding like other powdered replacements; it looks, cooks, tastes and acts like the real thing. Beyond comparable protein content to conventional eggs and as much or more protein than plant-based competitors, AcreMade has nutritional advantages such as no cholesterol, fewer calories, and less fat while containing fiber and calcium, which our competition does not.

“Also, egg replacements often contain soy, but AcreMade is free from the top-nine allergens. Our debut product, Egg Substitute, has two-year shelf life and can be stored in your pantry without risk of spoilage, unlike the liquid egg options you see on store shelves. This reduces risk to the consumer and food waste at the same time.”

The egg alternative landscape

There is still only a relatively small – albeit rapidly-growing - number of players making egg alternatives for retail (ie. consumer products), from Eat Just (Just Egg liquid, folded, and sous vide) to Hodo (soy-based scramble), Nabati Plant Eggz (liquid with lupin and pea protein), Bob’s Red Mill (powdered substitute from potato starch, tapioca flour and psyllium husk fiber), Follow Your Heart (soy-based powder), Neat Egg (chickpeas and chia seeds) and some private label offerings from brands such as Kroger’s Simple Truth.

Crafty Counter, meanwhile, recently launched plant-based boiled eggs for snacking under the Wundereggs​​​ brand.

Other players such as Spero (developing a liquid egg alternative made with pumpkin seeds) are gearing up for launch, while Zero Egg (using soy, pea, chickpea and potato protein) is targeting CPG and foodservice buyers, and ‘animal-free’ egg protein startups such as The EVERY Co and Onego Bio are developing real egg proteins in fermentation tanks using genetically engineered microbes as mini production factories.

The size of the egg alternative prize

just egg folded

According to data from SPINS, US retail sales of plant-based eggs in measured channels were up 42% to a modest $39m in 2021, although the overall market for plant-based eggs is likely much bigger as this data does not include c-stores, e-commerce sales, or data from some retailers such as Trader Joe’s, ALDI, and Costco.

It also excludes sales in foodservice (Starbucks, Peet's Coffee, Philz Coffee etc), a growing area of opportunity for plant-based eggs, as brands developing plant-based meat offerings seek vegan accompaniments (egg, cheese, mayo etc). 

According to Eat Just SVP global sales Matt Riley, the addressable market for egg alternatives is the $238bn global chicken egg market​, spanning retail eggs ($122bn), frozen breakfast products ($8.9bn), foodservice ($48.8bn), and ingredients ($73.2bn): “There's 1.4 trillion eggs laid annually around the globe,” he told FoodNavigator-USA at the Natural Products Expo West​ trade show earlier this year.

“So we think the size of the market is significant.”

Image credit: Eat Just

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