Startups are scrambling to crack the formula for the perfect egg substitute

Egg replacement startups are competing fiercely to mimic the success of meat substitutes.

May 21, 2019

As rising stars Impossible and Beyond burgers crush the plant-based meat game, others have set sights on the next big thing: egg alternatives. Fueled by a similar mix of motivations — animal welfare, environment, health — the alt-egg market is beginning to boil.

Startups including VeganEgg, Spero and Just Inc. are getting creative with chicken-friendly ingredients like soy powder, pumpkin seeds, algae, and mung beans (hope you’re enjoying your breakfast, btw). 

But demand for old fashioned eggs is still fryin’ high

Egg whites are a pretty bomb source of lean protein, and changing consumer tastes is always tough — especially when you’re trying to market processed products as a healthier alternative to natural ones. 

…Also there’s the gag reflex that tends to kick in while watching clear liquid “eggs” pour out of a carton.

In the meantime, there’s a market for sneaky ingredient swap-outs 

SF-based startup Clara Foods has raised $20m for its super-soluble DNA-coded protein. Its first flavorless egg protein product will hatch in 2020 for use in the manufacturing of drinks and baked goods. 

Otherwise, the $7B market for traditional eggs will stay strong until we find a legit substitute for replicating the scrambles and sammies we all know and love.

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