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World Egg Day 2021: What’s New in Egg Innovation?

World Egg Day 2021: What’s New in Egg Innovation?

Eggs have been consumed as a source of protein for millennia, but plant-based eggs have recently gained widespread popularity as a more sustainable substitute.

Held each year on the second Friday in October, World Egg Day is meant to celebrate the significance of eggs as one of the world’s oldest sources of protein. This year’s theme, “Eggs for all: Nature’s Perfect Package,” highlights eggs’ versatility and benefits to people at every stage of life. First observed in 1996, this year’s World Egg Day marks its 25th anniversary.

But much has changed in the egg industry since the day was first celebrated. With plant-based innovation in nearly every sector of the food industry, eggs have been no exception. Plant-based eggs have gained significant popularity in the last few years, with major players like JUST Egg paving the way for smaller startups. 

In honor of World Egg Day 2021, here’s a roundup of some of the latest egg news, both in plant-based and animal-based eggs.

Nestlé Unveils Plant-Based Egg

The world’s largest food company recently expanded its plant-based offerings to include a vegan egg product. The new egg, called Garden Gourmet vEGGie, comes in a liquid form and can be scrambled, used in batters or as an ingredient in baking.

The product contains soy protein and omega-3 fatty acids and is part of Nestlé’s wider aim to focus on health and sustainability. Mark Schneider, Nestlé chief executive, told the Financial Times, “Over time there will be an opportunity to essentially offer a plant-based version of every animal protein around…I feel that we are on to something that is a major trend.”

Under its Garden Gourmet brand, Nestlé already offers a variety of plant-based products in the retail and foodservice sector. The launch of vEGGIe comes alongside the unveiling of a plant-based shrimp product, Vrimp, which follows the launch of the brand’s tuna substitute last year.

Clara Foods Rebrands as The Every Company

Clara Foods has rebranded as The Every Company, in a move overlapping with the launch of its Every ClearEgg, the world’s first animal-free eggs. Using a process called precision fermentation, the San Francisco-based food-tech company’s egg protein starts with yeast and sugar, then uses several technologies to produce proteins identical to those found in eggs.  

“We are excited by the potential of EVERY ClearEgg, which enables growth and innovation in new markets within the food and beverage categories,” said Michael Natale, Global Plant Based Proteins Platform Leader of Ingredion, in a press release. “EVERY ClearEgg’s unique functionality is animal-free, which supports the growing needs of consumers who are looking for sustainable, healthy protein alternatives.”

The Every Company’s first egg protein will be launching as a co-branded ingredient with its first retail customer later this year. And in the future, the company will apply its precision fermentation technology platform to an expanded range of animal-free proteins for use in food service and consumer packaged goods applications.

New Egg Manufacturing Company Receives Strategic Investment

MeadowCreek Foods, a new egg products manufacturing company, scored a strategic investment from Cal-Maine Foods, the largest producer and distributor of fresh shell eggs in the US. The investment of up to $18.5 million will go towards purchasing property and equipment. Cal-Maine Foods will retain a controlling interest in the venture. 

What makes MeadowCreek different from other egg manufacturers is that they focus on hard-cooked and extended shelf-life egg products. The egg brand’s marketing plan will expand Cal-Maine’s reach in the foodservice and retail channels, while opening new opportunities in the restaurant, institutional and industrial food products arena.