Zero Egg - a startup hoping to crack the US market with the launch of plant-based egg alternatives for foodservice operators and CPG manufacturers – has developed a patent-pending blend of plant proteins (soy, potato, pea, chickpea) it claims blows rivals out of the water in terms of taste, versatility and affordability.
The first Zero Egg branded b2b products – which are co-manufactured in the US – are initially targeting the foodservice market, said CEO Liron Nimrodi, although the firm has also struck co-branding deals with plant-based meat CPG brands such as Alpha Foods and plans a move into retail in due course.
“We have a liquid product that’s really versatile and works in everything from scrambles to baked goods and desserts; and we have ready-to-eat frozen patties and scrambles that are perfect for QSRs to make burritos and breakfast sandwiches. We have amazing versatility and a very clean taste.
“We have 51 colleges and universities that work with us including Harvard, and we’re also closing a licensing agreement with Japan, so we are going to start selling in Japan next year with our strategic partner,” said Nimrodi, who said demand for plant-based eggs was not just about tapping into the plant-based trend, but about avoiding allergens and food safety issues such as salmonella, and ensuring consistency of price and supply, given that conventional egg prices are notoriously volatile thanks to regular bouts of avian flu and other disruptions.
While plant-based meat is not setting the world on fire in some parts of the US retail market right now, she acknowledged, “the plant-based egg category is really fast growing,” and although investors are “more cautious” today, “they see the potential is there, that the market is growing.”