Emsland Group manufactures raw materials from vegetables, including pea and potato products used in a wide range of food applications.
Today, the Emlichheim-based company is teaming up with San Francisco-based JUST (formerly Hampton Creek) to process mung bean protein – the key ingredient in Just Egg for the first time.
According to JUST, the deal will help make Just Egg one of the cheapest and most sustainable proteins available. The benefits are at least twofold: The partnership makes it easier for manufacturing partners to access mung bean protein and helps create a new source of income through the sale of the legume’s high starch content.
âOur partnership with Emsland Group is not only an innovative and creative development in the world of protein processing, but it will ultimately help us make Just Egg more accessible and affordable for customers and consumers around the world. “said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of JUST.
What is Just Egg?
JUST’s plant-based scrambled egg alternative first hit the US market at the end of 2017. Today, the product is in more than 10,000 retail stores, as well as in food services, across Canada. across the country.
And according to JUST, retail sales are booming: âThe total speed of grocery stores in the United States has increased by more than 50% since December and several key national accounts are higher than that. “
From a nutritional standpoint, Just Egg is cholesterol-free, low in saturated fat, and has a protein content broadly similar to that of real eggs. Indeed, a serving of JUST Egg contains 5g of protein, while a classic 150g egg contains around 6g.
The primary source of protein in JUST Liquid Egg Substitute is from mung beans. The company uses patented extraction technology to produce a powder rich in 95% protein.
After JUST produces the mung bean protein isolate, the powder is transported to downstream partners for manufacturing and distribution in retail and food service.
These partners then add additional ingredients, including water, canola oil, soy lecithin, gellan gum, and natural turmeric extracts for color, before distributing the product through their channels.
Sourcing and international expansion
“We source [our mung beans] Asia and Africa â, JUST global communications manager Andrew Noyes told FoodNavigator. âMost of our processing is currently done in the United States at the plant we acquired last year. ”
In December 2019, the start-up announced that it had expanded its manufacturing operations to include a 30,000 square foot factory and 40 acres of land in western Minnesota.
The facility houses industrial food processing equipment, a quality assurance laboratory, warehouses and administrative offices, with a âbig roomâ for future expansion.
“With this acquisition, we will be able to separate more protein from more beans, thereby accelerating the sales and distribution of JUST Egg worldwide.” the company noted at the time.
JUST Egg began its international distribution journey in 2018. âWe have already launched in China on major e-commerce platforms like TMall and JD.com and have a field team in Shanghaiâ, Noys explained.
While Europe is still on the agenda – JUST has already signed a distribution agreement with Italian egg producer and distributor Eurovo Group – the barrier lies in the regulations. The European Union considers mung bean protein as a novel food and, as such, requires pre-market authorization.
âWe continue to work with European regulators on a path to market and we have large retail and food service customers who are excited to make the product available as well as a growing fan base of consumers who want to be able to buy JUST Egg â, The company’s communications manager told this post.