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The Japanese food tech Next Meats has just added a new egg substitute to its alternative protein range. The 100% vegan egg alternative called Next Egg 1.0 will soon land in Japan via B2B channels. Next Meats will then launch its vegetable egg for retail and international markets.
The new plant-based egg from Next Meats is made exclusively from vegan ingredients. The Tokyo-based startup didn’t disclose the ingredients it used, but its existing products were made with soy protein. Next Egg will initially be released in Japan through B2B channels before launching into retail stores and other countries.
Meeting the vegetable demand in Japan
The decision to add a vegan egg alternative to its range comes as the demand for plant-based foods reaches new heights, according to Food Tech. The startup says its Next Egg is designed to meet âthe needs of the vegan population and those with egg allergies in Japanâ who previously âhad almost no commercial vegan egg options to choose from.
There are international players in the alternative egg space, but the list is admittedly small. The best known is Eat Just from San Francisco, the maker of the mung bean-based JUST Egg.
For Next Meats it is a huge white space for the Japanese food industry, because the country is the second largest egg consumer in the world after Mexico.
Read: 5 signs vegan food is having a big moment in Japan right now
Raising awareness of factory farming
Commenting on the Next Egg release, Ryo Shirai, CEO of Next Meats, said the company hopes to “raise awareness of the problems surrounding egg production.”
According to PETA, more than 300 million chickens are locked in small cages on factory farms worldwide. Hens are forced to undergo light manipulation in their cages, which induces additional laying cycles for businesses to maximize egg performance. After two years the chickens are “consumed” and sent for slaughter.
In addition to ethical issues, the egg industry also contributes to the enormous greenhouse gas emissions of the animal husbandry industry.
“[We] hope to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint by offering our new sustainable replacement, âShirai was quoted as saying in a press release.
Read: Guests can now try vegan Next Meats Gyudon Beef Curry at Japan’s IKEA store
Development of alternatives for all animal products
Ultimately, Next Meats says they have ambitions to develop vegan alternatives for all animal products. The company first made a name for itself by developing vegan beef the Japanese yakiniku style, and has also launched chicken alternatives.
“We plan to research different types of alternative proteins in the future and want to replace all animal meats by 2050,” said the company.
The company also plans to expand its global footprint. So far it is available in over 9 countries around the world. It most recently entered the US market where it sold out within the first day of its launch.
Mission statement courtesy of Next Meats.