Zero Egg is a plant-based egg made with a combination of sustainable plant proteins including soy, potato, chickpea, and yellow pea protein. Shortly after launching, the brand announced it had secured $5 million in Series A funding; plant-based egg is the fastest-growing category in plant-based and these products are highly sought after.
For an in-depth understanding of newly-launched US-based plant-based egg product and company Zero Egg, we reached out to the Co-Founders Liron Nimrodi and Isabelle Francois.
For our global readers, please tell us what sets Zero Egg apart from other plant-based eggs
Our patent-pending formulation allows food manufacturers and foodservice operators to use this eggless egg ingredient in multiple food applications. It’s vegan, gluten-free & GMO-free and there are no artificial colors, flavors, hydrogenated oils, or high fructose corn syrup.
What are the ingredients?
The Zero Egg ingredients are soy protein isolate, pea flour, cellulose fibers, dried yeast, gellan gum, modified cellulose, chickpea protein powder, salt, sugar, agar-agar, potato protein powder, and turmeric extract.
Why did you decide to launch in Foodservice first and what problems does Zero Egg solve for Foodservice?
Consumers are looking for options that are better for their health, animals, and the planet. We decided to launch first to the Foodservice and Food manufacturing industry because we believe we can have the most impact here.
Why? To put things in perspective, there are 1 trillion eggs consumed globally every year. 100 bn of which in the US and 35bn of which in the US Foodservice and Food manufacturing industry. Plant-based egg alternatives represent less than 0.5% of the market – so there is a huge potential untapped. The food service and manufacturing industry was appealing because we see a tremendous opportunity to achieve greater speed to market and make an impact at scale.
So, there is a white space today – there is no other plant-based egg solution that delivers on taste, versatility, and affordability the way that Zero Egg does. We have essentially removed all barriers to entry. From an operator standpoint, Zero Egg helps resolve 4 key challenges: removing egg allergens, better food safety, easier and safer storage, and handling and a reliable and cost-effective solution.
And we are very proud to say: We’ve worked hard to achieve price parity with a traditional cage-free egg.
Will you be branded in Food Service and what has the response been so far?
Yes, branding in foodservice is a large focus of our marketing efforts. You will see Zero Egg branded on menus and in restaurants in the same way as our meat alternative counterparts. So far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive from both chefs and consumers that can’t believe the dishes taste just as a good, if not better, with Zero Egg vs. traditional shell eggs.
Have there been any hesitations with chefs using or understanding a powered egg, or a plant-based egg in general?
Most restaurant and foodservice operators are very open to the option of plant-based eggs, based on consumer demand for more vegan and vegetarian options. We have learned that operators are looking for various formats for a plant-based egg that can accommodate various foodservice operating models. We are working to address that to come up with a version that is easier to prepare while keeping costs down.
Do you plan to go DTC or retail?
Yes, likely in 2022.
Any product extensions? Any products beyond eggs?
We believe Zero Egg is a game-changer in the egg category. We are entirely focused on the egg for now. We are planning on launching several new plant-based egg formats in 2021.
Can you share your projections for growth, including your next raise and what it will be used for? We believe 2021 will be a great year for the plant-based egg category. Plant-based meats entered the breakfast daypart in 2020, opening up the door for plant-based egg alternatives. Zero Egg has an ambitious new product roadmap and US Market growth plan for the next 2 years. Our Series A funding last fall will support this plan for 2021. Zero Egg will be initiating a Series B round Q3 this year.
You come from the famed Kitchen Hub. What was your experience like there? Are you still working with them in any capacity?
Zero Egg was established in Strauss the kitchen hub. Israel is a food tech empire with Strauss as a major player in bringing great ideas to life, the experience there was empowering, being surrounded by great entrepreneurs in a nurturing ecosystem.
What are the biggest obstacles you have encountered so far?
Launching amidst a global pandemic has been our biggest challenge. We are focusing on markets that are least impacted by COVID. We are developing additional formats that offer greater convenience in the back of the house. On the other hand, we have experienced higher demand from food manufacturers looking to develop their next generation of products including new plant-based innovations.
What are your tips for plant-based entrepreneurs or anything that you have learned that you would like to share?
Zero Egg is a mission-driven company and because of this, we know how important it is to surround ourselves with a team that is fully aligned and fully believes in our mission. Launching amidst a pandemic has taught us to be very strategic with our market focus. We are leveraging ongoing customer feedback to inform our product roadmap priorities and pivot quickly as needed.
We have also learned that there is a huge opportunity right now for plant-based products and consumers everywhere are more open to animal alternatives than ever before. It’s becoming mainstream, which is very encouraging to be part of helping develop the relatively new plant-based egg category and making it the norm for consumers everywhere.
Is there anything else you would like to share about Zero Egg?
Our mission is to empower the era of sustainable foods and make plant-based foods the obvious choice. It’s very exciting to drive forward an innovation that will make an impact and give people better options – for the planet, for animals, for my family, and also our future generations. We invested earlier on in conducting a life cycle analysis to track our impact. We’re thrilled with the results – Zero Egg uses 93% less water and energy, 92% less land, and produces 59% less greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional eggs.