Eat JUST, the food tech behind the famous plant-based egg, has recently alluded to launching an IPO once it reaches profitability, which the company is aiming for by the end of 2021. In a recent interview, the brand’s co-founder and CEO Josh Tetrick said that “eventually going public made the most sense,” and added that this goal has never been “clearer”.
Speaking with FoodNavigator earlier this week, Tetrick made the statement that keen plant-based industry watchers have been waiting to hear. “It’s always been my perspective that eventually going public made the most sense in terms of keeping true to the mission of the company, and today that path seems clearer,” he told publication.
“Once we get to operating profitability, which we’re looking to do before the end of next year, I’ll start a serious conversation with my team, the board, and a few of our largest shareholders about timing [for an IPO].”
To date, only three plant-based companies have gone public. Since Beyond Meat went public on the New York Stock Exchange just over a year ago, two more plant-based food techs have followed suit. Just a few months ago, The Very Good Food Company, the parent company of vegan butcher shop The Very Good Butchers began trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange, and was followed by female-led plant-based meat brand Modern Meat.
It’s always been my perspective that eventually going public made the most sense in terms of keeping true to the mission of the company, and today that path seems clearer.Josh Tetrick, Co-Founder & CEO of Eat JUST
Tetrick’s announcement came after his company boldly revealed that it has sold the plant-based equivalent of over 50 million eggs. According to JUST, its plant-based alternative requires 98% less water, has a 93% smaller carbon footprint and uses 86% less land than conventional animal sources.
Selling the plant-based equivalent of 50 million eggs has translated to saving an estimated 7.5 million kilograms of carbon dioxide, 1.9 billion gallons of water and 3,000 acres of land.
In the same interview, the JUST CEO said that the business opportunity for egg alternatives is huge. “More human beings today are consuming egg protein than any other animal protein,” said Tetrick, adding that the company is actively working on disrupting a US$238 billion egg market that spans everything from retail to foodservice and ingredients.
More human beings today are consuming egg protein than any other animal protein.Josh Tetrick, Co-Founder & CEO of Eat JUST
For the company to reach profitability, Tetrick says that the main hurdle to overcome is cost. To lower prices, Eat JUST plans to expand the number of suppliers of mung beans – the main ingredient in its plant-based egg alternative – and improve its protein extraction technology to increase yields.
Beyond targeting the egg market, Eat JUST has ambitious plans to dip its toes in other alternative protein categories. It has identified nine plant-based proteins that are currently not harnessed in the food industry today, which can be utilised in a range of products, from pastas to ice cream. Eat JUST’s own award-winning vegan mayonnaise is made out of yellow pea protein.
“Some will likely be used for future JUST Egg products, so we’ll be adding bakery functionality in future, and some we’ll likely license out,” Tetrick told FoodNavigator.
Looking even further ahead, the company wants to add cultivated meat to its offerings – meat made from real animal cells – but says that this will be “a much longer-term endeavour” and that its first cultivated proteins will most likely come in a hybrid format, made from 50% animal cells and 50% plant-based ingredients.
In Asia, JUST Egg products are available both in Singapore and in Hong Kong via Green Monday, who retails the folded plant-based egg product at their Green Common retail locations and online.
All images courtesy of Eat JUST.