Sodexo’s Growing Plant-Based Menus Will Feature JUST Egg
Janet Forgrieve, Contributor, Forbes
Feb 9, 2020
College dining halls, corporate cafeterias and the dining rooms at assisted living facilities are offering more plant-based alternatives to traditional meat dishes. Now, many of them will also have an egg option that doesn’t come from animals.
Eat JUST, the maker of JUST Egg, has announced a partnership that will supply its plant-based liquid egg product to Sodexo’s foodservice facilities around the country. The product has actually been a part of the corporate catering company’s effort to get more plant-based foods on its menus for about a year, Chef Rob Morasco, Sodexo’s senior director of culinary development, said.
“Because of the innovation of this type of a product, there’s really nothing else like it,” Morasco said. “A year ago, when we were looking at this type of product, there wasn’t anything that really came close.”
At the time that Morasco’s team was starting to experiment with replacing chicken eggs with the plant-based alternative, JUST was in the midst of figuring out the best way to fill the fast-growing demand, JUST CEO Josh Tetrick said.
Last year was a time to introduce the product to consumers in retail and foodservice channels and gain traction, he said. This year will be a time to scale up, with round-the-clock production of mung bean protein isolate at the Del Dee Foods factory in Appleton, Minn., that JUST acquired late last year.
“This time early last year, I would have said [the Sodexo deal] was way too early – we didn’t have the ability to make the protein at the volumes we do now,” Tetrick said.
The factory acquisition will now give JUST the ability to feed growing retail demand, expand its presence on Sodexo’s menus and sign similar deals with major foodservice partners.
Demand for the product has been growing fast, according to Nielsen data provided by JUST...
... The success of plant-based meat replacements from Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods has fueled the rise of more entrants into that category. In contrast, while there have been powdered egg replacements available for a while, JUST is the first liquid plant-based egg alternative, and thus far there don’t seem to be other players rushing in with offerings of their own...