Eat Just’s plant-based egg brand, JUST Egg, is expected to be on European shelves later this year, following approval from the European Commission.
The Commission’s finding follows an earlier determination by the European Food Safety Authority that mung bean protein is safe under novel food requirements – the first novel legume protein to earn such an approval.
The European Commission’s nod means other similar products using mung bean protein cannot be introduced for five years, unless they obtain authorisation through the same novel food application process.
“Forward-thinking consumers in Europe have been asking for JUST Egg since the day it launched in the US. Whether because of climate change, health or a connection to animals, the demand has been significant as has interest from retail and foodservice partners. I’m grateful for the recent approval, which opens the door to begin distribution across Europe before the end of the year,” said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just, based in San Francisco.
Eat Just is now actively engaging with the UK’s Food Standards Agency on a regulatory path to market, but it is expecting the launch to take place in the fourth quarter of this year.
A growing appetite
Recent studies show a growing appetite for plant-based products amongst European consumers, with the egg category identified as one of the biggest areas of opportunity. European retail sales of plant-based foods reached €3.6 billion in 2020 – 28 percent higher than 2019 and 49 percent higher than 2018, according to Nielsen data.
The plant-based egg industry is most established in the United States, where the category grew rapidly in 2021 with a 42 percent increase in retail dollar sales, according to data from the Plant Based Foods Association, the Good Food Institute, and SPINS. In the past three years, plant-based egg sales in the US have grown more than 1,000 percent and JUST Egg represents more than 99 percent of the market.
Aside from creating America’s fastest growing egg brand, Eat Just also operates the world’s first-to-market cultured meat company, Good Meat, which is now selling product in Singapore.