Mumbai startup Evo Foods has added a new product to its plant-based egg portfolio, a heat-stable plant-based boiled egg that follows on from their mungbean liquid whole egg substitute which was unveiled last year. Similarly, the new development is designed to mirror conventional eggs in terms of nutrition and price.
The new “heat and eat” vegan boiled egg comes after a successful $1 million pre-seed funding round in 2021, one of the largest for an Indian plant-based protein startup. Patent-pending technology was used to identify domestic crops that can replicate the protein structure of conventional eggs, but with none of the cholesterol. Launch through restaurant partners is slated for this month, alongside an existing liquid egg development. Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore are named as initial locations.
Driving the sector forward
Evo showcased its new boiled egg at the Jio World Drive mall in Mumbai, where it sold out in mere hours. The company says the event helped support an upcoming commercial launch. The company says it has have identified a demand for healthy egg alternatives, hence its expanding portfolio.
”Innovation and speed is in the DNA at Evo Foods since our ambition is to build a truly global plant-based company from India for the world,” Kartik Dixit, co-founder and CEO said in a statement. “We are extremely lucky to have a strong team of scientists and engineers who made this feat possible within just a year of R&D including the lockdowns in India.”
The company is in the midst of a fresh funding round. No details have been released other than it is a “big” round, with local and global investors participating. Previous investors include Big Idea Ventures, Sustainable Food Ventures and Better Capital.
The making of an Indian powerhouse
Evo was founded in 2019. It focuses on using biotech to extract plant proteins from suitable sources, to recreate the versatility and texture of real eggs. The startup’s liquid egg creation uses lentil protein as a base. The success of the development led to the company welcoming a host of big-name advisors on board, including ex-Beyond Meat advisor Dr Joseph Puglisi.
Launch of the liquid egg was originally slated for 2021 but the team appears to have hit pause to release in tandem with the boiled analogue. Expansion onto every continent by 2026 remains a steadfast aim. “As a vegetarian and a proponent of sustainable and clean eating, I observed a huge market gap and demand in the plant-based protein sector while handling customers at my restaurant,” Shraddha Bhansali, co-founder of Evo said in a statement last year. “Our goal is to get Evo into every continent within the next 5 years. We aim to create a non-judgemental food brand of the future that is people, planet, and palate friendly for the better imperfect consumer. The plant-based revolution is just beginning in India and we want to be on the forefront of this movement by offering the most delicious food ever.”
The rise of egg substitutes
Evo is not the only startup looking to crack the vegan egg code and it’s not the first to announce a vegan hard boiked egg. Swiss retailer Migros debuted their own version this past November and Texas startup Craft Counter showcases their WunderEggs back in August 2021.
As consumer demand for more chicken-free egg alternatives continues to grow, iterations abound. Last month, new German brand The VGN announced it has created a whole egg substitute, made from broad beans. The startup was founded by four ex-Lidl managers who decided to leverage their retail and marketing experience to bring a new plant-based option to Germany initially, then wider Europe and the rest of the world.
Singapore’s Float Foods announced it has just applied for a patent for its OnlyEg product. It contains the same amount of protein as a conventional chicken egg, but with a yolk that improves cholesterol, instead of adding it into a diet.
Egg white alternatives are being specifically developed, many for B2B applications. Finland’s Onego Bio, Israel’s InnovoPro and Bay Area platform The Every Company are all reporting progress and imminent launches.