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JUST research 8 months 1 week ago #28

  • dsamraj
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Description

Eat JUST is a San Francisco based alternative protein company that was founded in 2011 by Josh Tetrick and Josh Balk. Currently Tetrick serves as CEO [1]. A major arm of Eat JUST is JUST egg a plant-based egg that “scrambles and tastes just like eggs”. [2]

Technology

JUST egg uses a key ingredient known as the mung bean. The mung bean is a protein containing legume that JUST discovered scrambles like eggs. [2]. JUST egg also contains turmeric as spice and coloring agent. [2]

Market Potential

Currently, the global chicken egg market is valued at $238B across various industry categories. The biggest industries are the retail egg industry which  is valued at $122B, the egg ingredients industry which is valued at $73.2B, and the egg food service industry which is valued at $49B. [3] Thus, there certainly exists market potential for JUST egg. One major challenge is that JUST egg’s application as an ingredient in baked goods is limited, which significantly hampers the market potential JUST egg can enter currently. [3].

Firm Growth 

Despite these challenges, JUST egg is continuing to grow. Eat Just has just announced in the past week that Dicos, a major Chinese fast-food chain, has partnered with Eat Just to add the JUST egg product to the menu in over 500+ locations. [4] If the trial goes well, there is potential for even greater reach for JUST egg as Dicos currently has 2600 locations. [4] This announcement comes 3 months after JUST egg  had announced a partnership with Proterra Investment Partners Asia to develop JUST egg’s first factory in Asia which will be located in Singapore. [5]  Eat JUST also received regulatory approval in Singapore for its cultured chicken product. The product requires animal cell culture technology which essentially grows the cells in meat in-house as opposed to slaughtering an animal [6].Eat JUST has gotten attention from investors. Eat JUST has raised more than $300 million from investors with notable investors being venture capital firm Khosla Ventures and entrepreneur Li Ka-Shing [5]. The firm is currently valued at $1.2B [5].

Challenges

Despite this, Eat JUST faces challenges. Zero egg and Le Papondu are notable competitors in the alternative egg space [7].  While Le Papondu is only in the very early stages as a company, Le Papondu’s egg is different from Eat JUST in the fact that the product comes in a shell and looks like an egg. On the other hand, JUST egg comes as a liquid form in a bottle. Thus, Le Papondu could have a competitive advantage that starts to threaten JUST egg in the next few years.Another challenge that JUST egg and generally the alternative food industry at large faces is pricing. The cost to produce a JUST egg is 18 cents, over double that of a regular egg which costs only 8.2 cents to produce. [3] While the management of JUST egg has plans through operational efficiencies and outsourcing to lower that cost, it is a hurdle that JUST egg will face for several years to come.

Additionally, JUST egg is still at an operating loss. Firm management hopes to start turning a profit by end of 2021. [3]

Conclusion

JUST egg is a disruptor in the traditional egg market that is up and coming. While not profitable yet, the firm is experiencing rapid growth and hoping to turn a profit by end of 2021. At that point the firm plans to do an IPO [3] which will be an interesting event to watch for investors.

Articles for Further Reading (and in part used to create this post)

[1] (CNBC): www.cnbc.com/2020/06/16/eat-just-disruptor-50.html
[2] (JUST): www.ju.st/products/just-egg
[3] (Food Navigator): www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Article/2020/0...nd-of-2021-mulls-IPO
[4] (CISION): www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/eat-bey...ement-301208490.html
[5] (TechCrunch): techcrunch.com/2020/10/20/eat-just-partn...DZ6WAdo7okv0vEI3gYBr
 

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Last edit: by dsamraj.

JUST research 8 months 1 week ago #29

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