JUST, the startup behind the vegan JUST Egg, is considering an initial public offering (IPO).
JUST CEO Josh Tetrick revealed for the first time last week that the company may possibly list. The entrepreneur believed that the COVID-19 pandemic would delay the company’s plans to go public. However, sales have been boosted by more customers cooking at home.
“It makes it more likely we’ll go public sooner. The target to hit operating profitability is some time before the end of 2021,” Tetrick told Reuters.
“Once we hit operating profitability, then I’ll really begin considering an IPO with my team and with my board and with some of our major shareholders,” he continued.
JUST makes the JUST Egg, which is made from mung bean protein that looks like beaten eggs from a carton. It can be used to make different dishes that call for eggs, including scrambles, omelets, quiches, and French toast.
According to SPINS data, the vegan egg is the least developed category of the plant-based food market, but it is the fastest-growing. Dollar sales of plant-based eggs grew 192 percent. Meanwhile, conventional egg sales decreased by 10 percent.
JUST has been working to boost production over the past couple of years. Last year, it acquired a 30,000-square-foot facility in Appleton, Minnesota, which extracts the majority of the mung bean protein needed to make the JUST Egg. Tetrick added that the company is looking into ways to extract more protein from mung beans in order to lower costs.
Plant-Based Brands Go Public
As JUST considers an IPO, other plant-based brands have found success in going public.
California-based brand Beyond Meat—maker of the Beyond Burger—made history as the first plant-based food brand to go public in May 2019. Shares soared 163 percent from the $25 offering price on the first day of trading, making it one of the most successful IPOs in nearly two decades. The stock is now worth around $125 per share.
The Very Good Food Company, parent company to the Canadian plant-based meat brand The Very Good Butchers, went public on the Canadian Securities Exchange in June and saw an 800 percent increase in stock value in the first few days of trading.
Swedish oat milk brand Oatly, which entered the U.S. market via cafés in fall 2016, may go public with a listing in 2021.
Going forward, JUST will focus on shaping the long-term future of its business as the pandemic has accelerated the retail adoption of plant-based products. According to new Nielsen data, the JUST Egg is in the top five of all fresh eggs sold at a top-five retailer. The new folded JUST Egg is currently the leading breakfast item at a top-five retailer.