JUST Egg has reported a 45% growth in US college and university food service accounts over the past year, with over 40 new campus partners added since January 2023 alone.
This takes the total number of higher education institutions offering the plant-based egg alternative to 120. College caterers are said to be using JUST Egg in a wide range of dishes, including sandwiches, flatbreads, wraps, grain bowls, salads, and baked goods.
JUST Egg has also continued to expand throughout other US locations, with distribution up 14% since last year. The company’s food service business has seen particular success, growing 15% in Q1 of 2023 and 39% in Q2.
Making plant-based the default
The news comes as students and higher education establishments increasingly embrace plant-forward food. Earlier this year, catering giant Sodexo announced that it plans to make 50% of the meals it serves in US universities plant-based by 2025, in collaboration with the Humane Society. Incidentally, the caterer began offering JUST Egg products at colleges in 2020.
In May, Sodexo revealed the results of a “first-of-its-kind” study, which found that 81% of students chose plant-based meals when they were the default option. When meat and plant-based dishes were presented side by side, just 31% opted for the plant-based meal. Furthermore, when plant-based was the default, more students expressed satisfaction with their meals. The results were described as “statistically astounding”.
“Companies like Sodexo have made ambitious climate commitments that they can only achieve by serving more plant-based foods,” said Food for Climate League founder and executive director Eve Turow-Paul. “The challenge for foodservice leadership is how to make this shift while keeping students and staff satisfied. Behavioral nudges, including defaults, are a powerful addition to their toolkit for achieving this goal.”