Japanese food brand 2foods by TWO Inc. has linked up with domestic manufacturing giant Kagome Co. to develop a plant-based egg substitute for a new omurice dish. Dubbed “Ever Egg”, the component is made from vegetables and legumes which are processed to reach the right consistency.
2foods has a patent-pending for its proprietary ”vegetable semi-ripening method” that creates the fluffy egg-like texture that allows chicken fried rice to be encased and then topped with either a rich demi-glace sauce or tomato ketchup.
A first for Japan
The new egg replacement is a first for Japan according to 2foods. Taking aim at a longstanding favourite comfort food was deemed the ultimate test for the Ever Egg development. Main ingredients include carrots and cannellini beans, with all other facets of the final dish being plant-based alongside. This marks a move away from the more traditional use of soybeans, particularly in Japan, when developing plant-based alternative proteins. 2foods was committed to sourcing an alternative base, as it claims the crumbly texture and distinctive smell of soy are hard to overcome.
Consumers are able to pre-order the food via Makuake, a product launch platform that showcases new innovations. Big corporations frequently employ it as an initial introduction to new products. 2foods and Kagome intend to leverage the consumer audience of the platform to create a buzz about the vegan omurice. As part of the product launch, the dish will be served at all 2foods eateries, with further roll-out expected later this year.
2foods and Kagome have confirmed that the Ever Egg development is the first of many, with their collaborative partnership set to continue. “Since April 2021, we have been able to collaborate with Kagome with a sense of speed, taking advantage of each other’s strengths from idea planning to product development,” Yoshio Yahagi of Two Inc. told Vegconomist. “We were very surprised by the strong sense of unity between Kagome’s management team and the frontline, and the flexibility and speed of the project, which was different from the image we had imagined for a large company.”
The main players
2foods was launched as a bridge between healthy and junk foods. Focussing on the development of convenience food that tastes good but also benefits the body, it has created a line of plant-based goods that are flavourful and ethical. The strategic partnership with Kagome was first initiated in 2021.
Kagome is a global producer and distributor of food items, claiming Japan’s biggest market share in various vegetable-based goods. In January this year, it invested in 2foods to add weight to the strategic alliance and support new plant-based product development. The omurice is the inaugural launch funded by said investment.
Cracking the recipe
2foods joins a growing number of companies seeking to perfect the elusive plant-based egg recipe. Earlier this week, German startup Perfeggt announced it has secured extra seed funding to launch its fava bean-based liquid whole-egg substitute. The product has been developed to mimic the functionality and versatility of conventional eggs but with non of the nutritional downsides.
At the beginning of the month, Mumbai-based Evo Foods debuted what it claims is the world’s first-ever heat-stable vegan boiled egg. Created using mungbean protein, the appearance is strikingly similar to hard-boiled eggs. A liquid egg product has been finalised for some time, but the launch appears to have been delayed to allow for a tandem reveal with the boiled egg analogue.
Lead photo by 2foods.