Interview: Josh Tetrick CEO of JUST on Bringing 'New Eggs' to China

By Cristina Ng, January 5, 2019

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As the worldwide demand for meat continues to grow, JUST decided that we’re in need of alternatives to animal-based proteins. After successfully launching a vegan mayo, the food company is now taking on eggs with a plant-based product that uses 70 percent less water and has a 40 percent smaller carbon footprint than the real thing. First released in the US last fall, JUST Egg has already been featured on Popular Science’s ‘Best of What’s New’ list and TIME magazine’s ’10 Smartest Sustainable Products.’ We caught up with CEO Josh Tetrick for more on the nutritional and environmental benefits of JUST Egg.

What are JUST Eggs made from?
JUST Egg is primarily made of the protein from mung bean – a legume that has been in the food system for thousands of years. Also included are water, expeller-pressed canola oil, turmeric for natural golden color and a few other ingredients.

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Image by Cristina Ng/That's

How does JUST Egg compare to chicken egg in flavor and texture? And from a nutritional perspective?
Our product developers (who happen to be Michelin starred chefs) have worked for more than four years to create a product that scrambles just like an egg and tastes like one too. Most people think the texture is spot on, particularly in scrambles, omelets, quiches and frittatas. The flavor is buttery and savory, and complements just about any ingredients that appeal to your taste buds. 

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Image by Cristina Ng/That's

The current version is not optimized for baking but can be used in quickbreads, egg tarts and more. In terms of nutrition, JUST Egg has about as much protein, and has zero cholesterol. Plus, its ingredients require less water and emit fewer carbon emissions than conventional eggs. 

Josh-Tetrick-shot-by-nick-klein-just.jpgImage by Nick Klein/Courtesy JUST

Why does the world need a product like JUST Egg?
Let me count the ways! Our company mission is to make it easy for people to eat well, and that’s what JUST Egg is all about. Eating food that tastes really good, with less impact on the environment, ultimately made in a way that everyone can afford. 

How exactly is switching to an egg replacement better for the planet?
About a trillion eggs were laid in 2017, which requires a lot of land, water and chickens. With JUST Egg, we work with farmers who grow a bean that is healthy and sustainable. If we’re going to feed a growing world, we all need to think about different ways of doing it. That’s why investing in the future of more sustainable food production matters so much.

“If we’re going to feed a growing world, we all need to think about different ways of doing it” 

Why did you decide to enter the Chinese market?
More people are eating in China than anywhere else in the world. If we’re a food company trying to reach everyone, that’s where we need to do it, and we need to start now, not later.

Who will be selling JUST Egg in China?
JUST Egg will begin rolling out in the first half of 2019 through a multi-channel approach encompassing e-commerce, retail and food service. Some of the first Chinese companies to sell JUST Egg include Hema, Tmall.com, JD.com, City’super and Hunter Gatherer.

[Cover image by Anatasiia Sapon/Courtesy JUST]


Click here for more information on JUST

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