In case you're not familiar with JUST, Inc, the food tech startup has been making headlines since they rolled out their signature product JUST Egg in the States less than a year ago. Time Magazine named them one of the "Smartest Sustainable Products of 2018" and Popular Science included them on its "100 Greatest Innovations of 2018" list. Every Vegan Youtuber out there has given their honest review by now I think.
If you are an open-minded eco-conscious consumer, JUST Egg might be an exciting product. The liquid egg is made mostly from protein extracted from non-GMO mung beans, which are harvested in Inner Mongolia (they are not organic yet). Right now, the egg is manufactured in North America, which defeats the purpose a bit, considering how much it travels. But they aim to produce it locally before the end of the year.
Although there have been ongoing debates about whether plant protein or animal protein is better for our body; the consensus among scientists is "get your protein from plants when possible". Here's how JUST Egg compared to the conventional egg in terms of nutritional value (per 100g serving):
One bottle of JUST Egg (355ml/ 12oz) equals roughly 8-10 eggs. You can stir fry the liquid or bake it to make egg and tomatoes or French toast (not for cakes though). Similar to its pricing overseas, the JUST Egg costs 88rmb a bottle. And it has a short shelf life once it's opened: 7 days.
Yeah, it's pricey. Like a lot of vegan food bloggers, I think I'd buy it to impress non-vegan friends. I won't consider it a necessity until the price goes down, which is part of JUST's ambitious plan —— they want to make it the lowest-cost protein on the market (0.047usd for 1.5oz). That relies on sales.
So, how's the taste? I first tried JUST Egg in Hong Kong earlier last year and was already blown away by how identical it tasted to real eggs. Shanghai is lucky. Because what's on the market now is JUST Egg 2.0, which has major improvements compared to the previous generation in terms of the taste, texture, and how easy it is to cook. The taste of the product itself is mild, smooth, and creamy. When cooked with tomatoes, everyone at the media gathering agreed that it was just like real egg, tender and fluffy. The tamago-yaki I tried was also delicious, too.
The JUST Egg is available nationwide on various online and offline outlets, including JD.com, Hema, Olé, C!ty'super, and Hunter Gatherer. The latter also plans to roll out dishes that feature the JUST Egg.
I'm curious to see how well it's going to be received here. The pricing is a major turn-off. And scrambled tofu has already been replacing scrambled egg at vegan-friendly local restaurants. But five years ago nobody expected oat milk would come on so strong, right?