Bay Area food tech company, JUST, will land its mung bean-based vegan egg into the Chinese market early next year, the company reported.
The move makes JUST the first major food tech startup to enter the Chinese market. The vegan egg product made its international debut in Hong Kong in January.
The announcement was made by JUST CEO Josh Tetrick and China General Manager Cyrus Pan in Shanghai earlier this week. Investors, government officials, media, influencers, and other VIPs attended a celebratory launch event that included a presentation by Tetrick.
JUST says China is “uniquely positioned” to benefit from its vegan egg and other plant-based products including the company’s mayonnaise, dressings, and vegan cookie dough.
Vegan Eggs for the Planet
China, with a population of more than 1.3 billion, produces more than 430 billion eggs per year, with nearly one hen per person needed to meet that demand. As China’s median income increases, consumers are seeking out animal proteins still equated with wealth and prosperity; but a number of studies suggest resources can’t sustain the livestock industry long-term.
“We believe JUST Egg can help address issues of food scarcity, security and overall diversification of the protein products people consume,” the company said in a statement.
The JUST Egg will be available in the first half of 2019, rolling out to supermarket and food delivery service Hema and e-commerce platform Tmall.com, both owned by Alibaba; online marketplace JD.com, high-end specialty retailer Citysuper and healthy restaurant chain Hunter Gatherer.
Slaughter-Free Japanese Wagyu Beef
JUST made headlines this week with another Asian nation, Japan. The company announced it would be using its cellular agriculture technology to “grow” Wagyu beef from cells of the cattle line used by Japanese company Toriyama.
“Precious few have had the chance to experience umami Wagyu and we hope this partnership allows more restaurants to share Toriyama beef and its story in a new, exciting way,” Tetrick said in a statement.
Cultured or “cell-based” meat grows protein through a process similar to brewing beer where cells are obtained from a live animal but the process does not require raising and slaughtering an animal for its meat.
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