Hampton Creek Introduces Egg Alternative as Part of its Comeback Strategy

   Instagram: @HamptonCreek

Instagram: @HamptonCreek

The vegan-food startup Hampton Creek, which has been plagued with a few unsavory news stories in the last year, is introducing the first plant-based product that mimics the beloved scrambled egg.   

Flore, a restaurant in the Castro district in San Francisco, debuted the egg-free product in its “Just Scramble Flore” meal item. The dish features Hampton’s latest plant-based creation that resembles a fluffy pile of eggs, along with sautéed spinach and mushrooms. 

The “Just Scramble” is made of mung bean protein, canola oil, water and salt and took the company five years to develop the right recipe. 

"We were lucky enough to find something that has impacted our food system for thousands of years and turn it into a meal that will impact it for thousands more," said Josh Tetrick, Hampton Creek's cofounder and CEO. “Launching Just Scramble is the culmination of years of hard work by our talented team."

Hampton is catering the product to omelet-lovers who may not even be vegan eaters. 

“This is, for the first time ever, scrambled eggs made from plants,” said Bruce Friedrich, co-founder and executive director of the Good Food Institute. “It’s watershed for people who are concerned about the myriad harms of industrial agriculture.” 

By appealing to egg-eaters, the company is hoping to make more of a positive impact. 

“We don’t want people to choose what we do to save the environment or animals. We would never change the system if we did that,” said Tetrick.

Just Scramble is only being served at Flore, but the company will be partnering with other restaurants in the Bay Area by early next year. Then the product will eventually be rolled out to supermarkets. 

The product has a smaller carbon footprint than chicken eggs. 

The egg alternative comes in liquid form and takes 65% less water to produce than a standard egg and emits 24% less greenhouse gases. 

What makes the Just Scramble different is its egg-like consistency. VeganEgg, a competitor product, does not cook like real eggs and takes longer to prepare.

“Just Scramble is another game changer from the team at Hampton Creek. The mung bean-based discovery that in its uncooked form takes on all the properties of chicken eggs in the kitchen and tastes good is only a small piece of the equation for me. This product is a wholesome nutrient dense food, requires less energy and water to create than a chicken egg and is an economic development program and job creator for the countries where the legumes are sourced. It’s a sustainable 22nd century food for a 21st century planet that’s in desperate need of real solutions to its food and ecology problems," said Andrew Zimmern, chef, author and Travel Channel host

Ultimately, it all comes down to the taste for the consumer.

The vegan products that are successful are ones that are tasty. That’s why it takes a while for plant-based companies to find the perfect recipe.

“Most people who buy Just Mayo aren’t just buying it because it doesn’t have eggs in it. They’re buying it because they like the taste and it’s affordable,” said Paul Shapiro, vice president of policy for the Humane Society of the United States, who also works with co-founder of Hampton Creek. 

Do you think this is just the product the company needs to make a PR comeback?

Read more about Just Scramble at "SF Chronicle."