Female-Led French Startup To Launch 100% Vegan Egg That Looks (& Cracks) Like The Real Thing

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Three years ago, two female biologists asked their vegan friends what they missed most about, and the resounding answer they got was eggs. That’s when they decided to embark on a journey to develop a 100% plant-based egg that cooks, looks and tastes like the real thing. Now, their startup Les Merveilloeufs is gearing up to launch its vegan alternative across restaurants in Paris and unlike its competitors, their version bears the distinct yolk and whites of the traditional appearance of eggs. 

After more than 50 test recipes, Philippine Soulères and Sheryline Thavisouk, the co-founders of Les Merveilloeufs  – a play on the French words marvellous and eggs – are near the final stages of launching their 100% plant-based egg. While their exact ingredients list remains a secret, the startup’s vegan egg alternative contains legumes as its base. 

Unlike other food techs that have developed plant-based eggs, most famously Eat Just’s liquid mung bean-based egg alternative, the JUST Egg, Les Merveilloeufs’ version stands out for maintaining the distinctive white and yolk separation and even comes in a shell. 

Our ultimate objective is to make Les Merveilloeufs available for purchase online and in supermarkets for vegans, for flexitarians, for people suffering from egg allergy or intolerance, and for anyone curious to try.

Sheryline Thavisouk, Co-Founder of Les Merveilloeufs 
Sheryline Thavisouk (L) and Philippine Soulères (R), the co-founders of Les Merveilloeufs

Currently partnered with Paris-based incubator Station F, Les Merveilloeufs says they will soon be rolling out across vegan restaurants in the city by the end of this year. They’re also hoping to launch its products directly to consumers to cook their plant-based sunny side ups at home, in their domestic market in France and in international markets as well.

“Our ultimate objective is to make Les Merveilloeufs available for purchase online and in supermarkets for vegans, for flexitarians, for people suffering from egg allergy or intolerance, and for anyone curious to try,” said co-founder Thavisouk in a recent interview. 

“We have also received a lot of international interest so, following development in France, we will also launch Les Merveilloeufs internationally.”

Given that eggs remain one of the most affordable and convenient sources of animal protein for millions in Asia and around the world, the business opportunity for the French startup is huge. India, for instance, produces a whopping 100 billion eggs a year, while in China, the figure is nearing 600 billion annually. 

And the impact could be huge for the environment too. While other animal proteins such as beef and lamb are known to be far more carbon-intensive, primarily due to methane emissions, when accounting for feed production for egg-laying hens, the egg industry’s contribution is hard to ignore.

We’re very conscious about the negative environmental impact caused by the rearing of laying hens, which is even worse if done in battery farming. In every step of our product development, from the selection of raw ingredients to the manufacturing and packaging processes, we make it a priority to choose solutions that are as green as possible.

Sheryline Thavisouk, Co-Founder of Les Merveilloeufs 

According to a 2018 study, the average carbon footprint of one dozen eggs is comparable to other basic animal-derived foods such as dairy milk – and the top 13 biggest dairy companies in the world are responsible for enough emissions to match the total greenhouse gas emissions of Britain

“Our initiative is very much a response to today’s unsustainable egg production system,” said Thavisouk. “We’re very conscious about the negative environmental impact caused by the rearing of laying hens, which is even worse if done in battery farming. In every step of our product development, from the selection of raw ingredients to the manufacturing and packaging processes, we make it a priority to choose solutions that are as green as possible.”


All images courtesy of Les Merveilloeufs.


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