Just Eat, a food startup making chicken-less eggs from San Francisco, has ambitions to crack the Chinese market where consumer appetite for plant-based food is growing and other Western vegetarian alternative brands such as Beyond reach In recent quarters.
The startup said that this week it will be for the fast-food chain Dicos, a local rival of McDonald’s and KFC in China. The deal would see Eat Just adding its plant-based eggs to restaurant breakfast items at more than 500 locations. Eggs are derived from a legume called mung beans, which has long been a popular ingredient for soups, noodles and sweets in China.
In Dicos of major Chinese cities, consumers will find Eat Just Eggs in breakfast burgers, bagel sandwiches, and Western-style breakfast plates. This Dikos diversifies into a plant-based menu that already includes Vegetarian Chicken Burger Supplied by local startup Starfield. Dicos also offers a gateway to low-level cities in China where it has built a stronghold and may possibly help propagate plant-based proteins in communities beyond China’s urban yuppies. The chain operates a total of 2,600 stores in China and produces 600 million customers a year.
Tech Just entered China for the first time in 2019 and Andrew Noyes, currently head of global communications at Eat Just, generated less than 5% of its revenue from the country, TechCrunch reported. But over time, the company expects China to take more than half of its revenue. Ten of its 160 employees are based in China.
“We have been intentional about starting small, going slow, and hiring people who know the market and understand how to build a sustainable business. We have also noted that to find the right partners to work with downstream manufacturing, sales and distribution, and that work continues, ”said Noyce.
Partnership with DeCos comes on the heels of the announcement of Eat Just Set up an Asia subsidiary. The nine-year-old company, formerly Hampton Creek, has raised more than $ 300 million from major investors including Lee Ka-shing, Peter Thiel, Bill Gates and Khosla Ventures. It was last valued at $ 1.2 billion.
Prior to its tie-up with Dicos, Eat Just was already selling online in China through Alibaba and JD.com, among other retail channels. Currently its China business is growing by 70% year-on-year.
While there is no shortage of strong competition in the plant-based food race in China, Eat Just claims that this is a unique angle by zeroing in on eggs.
“Plant-based meat companies make delicious products with just the egg,” said Noyes, the startup’s lead product.
“Plant-based foods are increasing in popularity among Chinese consumers and more sustainable food is becoming part of a national dialogue about the nation’s food in the future. China produces about 435 billion eggs per year and the demand for protein is increasing. “
Actually, Euromonitor Predicted The world’s largest meat-eating country, China will grow its “meat-free” market size to $ 12 billion by 2023, compared to $ 10 billion in 2018.