Vegan egg maker Eat JUST has just partnered with a large foodservice distributor Michael Foods.
Michael Foods will be the exclusive manufacturer and distributor of JUST egg products to restaurants and foodservice outlets across the US.
JUST is the first plant-based egg product the Michael Foods offers its customers.
Josh Tetrick the CEO of JUST said: “It’s such a momentous thing for the company.”
“It’s not about winning a new account or being in another retailer. We want to have an impact for the next 50 years, to make food products like this ubiquitous.”
JUST will continue to produce the mung bean protein at its factory in Appleton, Minnesota. Michael Foods will pick up the product from there, and then customize the protein into liquid egg or other vegan egg products for its foodservice customers.
Thanks to the partnership, JUST eggs will be available in bigger restaurant chains.
“When it comes to new [foodservice] sales, the Michael Foods team has been doing this for decades, and much of the heavy lifting will shift to them,” Tetrick said.
According to SPINS data, sales of plant-based eggs grew 192% in 2019 compared to 2018, and JUST Egg is now available at mainstream grocery chains in the US.
The plant-based Egg is on the menus in the corporate and campus canteens run by Sodexo, regional chains such as Silver Diner and Gregory’s Coffee, and many independent restaurants.
Tetrick says the new partnership is expected to bring JUST Egg to larger foodservice providers such as stadiums, healthcare facilities and large quick-service chains that are already buying ingredients from Micheal Foods. The deal is also expected to help drive down the production costs.
Michael Foods’ Marketing Vice President Josh Nissen said: “As such, it will allow us to offer a complete egg solution for our customers regardless of egg preference or dietary restrictions.”
Michael Foods operates 14 egg processing facilities, and a few of them can process JUST Egg products.
“Foodservice is going to open up again, whether it’s in 30 days or 90 days or the end of the year,” Nissen explained. “The infrastructure we build is focused on what the next 50 years will look like.”
“Dining out is a social experience that many consumers are looking forward to getting back to,” he added. “Selling JUST Egg ensures that our customers have the egg solution for all consumers as they re-enter their doors.”