Many people don’t eat egg products. Either they are vegan/vegetarian or are allergic to them. Another concern some people refrain from eating them is the unsustainable nature of the egg industry. For instance, The energy input to food output ratio in poultry is a staggering 39-1. Hampton Creek, a start up founded in 2011, aims to overcome these challenges.
Egg less mayo
The company is on a mission to provide sustainable, tastier, and affordable food. Its first product, Just Mayo, is an egg-less substitute for mayonnaise. It utilizes egg-like proteins obtained from plants to create the substitute. The team at Hampton Creek screened over a 1000 different plants, identifying 11 which had proteins analogous to proteins found in the egg. The production of Mayo has a energy input to food output ratio of just 2-1. Now, consider the 1.18 trillion eggs that are consumed annually. That’s huge reduction in costs and carbon footprint.
Another recent product by the company is Just Cookie Dough. It is an egg-less cookie dough than can be baked or eaten as it is. Worth a mention here is another start up – Muufri. It is attempting to create cow’s milk without the cows. Here’s why it needs to be done and how.
But, not all are amused
Just Mayo has been a hit in the US retail stores ever since its launch earlier this year. Unilever, with $60 billion in revenue last year, seems scared by its rise. It has sued Hampton Creek.
Unilever, frustrated by the direct competition Just Mayo is giving to its products, is acting like a corporate bully, in terms of Josh Tetrick, founder-CEO of the food start up. The claim by Unilever is that Hampton Creek is misguiding consumers by selling mayonnaise that doesn’t contain eggs. The funny thing is that Hampton Creek’s been build on the very foundation of being without any eggs. It is evident both in the ingredient’s list and in the start up’s previous name – Beyond Eggs. Its product is mayonnaise-like and not exactly mayonnaise. While there are regulations that define what a mayonnaise is, mayo is open to interpretation.
Big companies like Unilever must spend its billions to innovate rather than monopolize over upcoming start ups. Ironically, its very own CEO outlined the future best –
“Success will require completely new business models. It will demand transformational innovation.”
– Paul Walker