Plant-based egg producer Umami United has partnered with one of Japan’s biggest food manufacturers, KENKO Mayonnaise Co Ltd (KENKO), to co-develop a new plant-based egg salad for the ready-to-eat category — the Marude Tamago Salad.
The salad is the latest launch of KENKO’s new plant-based food brand, HAPPY!! with VEGE. Entirely vegan, it features Umami United’s realistic plant-based eggs and egg-free mayonnaise. It is described as a delicious and versatile plant-based option that can be paired with bread or vegetables.
KENKO, known in the country for its mayonnaises, dressings, sauces, processed egg products, and long-life salads for food service, has expanded into the plant-based category in response to the “changing needs and expectations of the times.” With HAPPY!! with VEGE, the company offers meat, dairy, and egg alternatives and plant-based salads.
Eggs that everyone can enjoy
Umami United’s plant-based eggs are said to replicate the taste, flavor, and texture of cooked eggs. The company uses traditional Japanese ingredients such as konjac flour and soy to achieve egg-like textures and elasticity. To elevate the taste of its alternatives, it extracts an umami flavor from upcycled wood ear mushrooms through a proprietary fermentation process. Besides regular eggs, the company aims to develop an egg white replacer for the bakery and confectionery industries.
This August, the Japanese food tech company closed a Pre-Series A round, bringing its total funding to JPY 240 million. According to the company, the recent avian influenza outbreak in Japan has significantly increased the wholesale price of eggs, triggering manufacturers’ interest in plant-based eggs to address price fluctuations and find a solution for egg allergies and vegan diets.
“With the shared objective to create food that everyone can enjoy at the same table, Umami United and KENKO joined forces on various fronts including technology, expertise, development and production capability to devise the ‘Marude Tamago Salad’, a delicious new product that accentuates and brings out the egg’s original flavor, texture and goodness,” said Umami United.