As new food concepts dominate the startup scene – raising over $350 million in the past year, according to Jonathan Shieber — companies are seeking to master their pitch.
Enter Hampton Creek, which co-founder and CEO Josh Tetrick described to me as the “Google of food,” a company that’s taking the goal of recreating the food experience a step further.
Based in San Francisco, the team is pioneering the use of plant based proteins to replace eggs in popular products like mayonnaise, cookies, and literally, scrambled eggs.
Here’s how it works – Biochemists identify plant proteins that function like egg proteins in food, resulting in what Tetrick identifies as a “toolkit of plants,” that the company uses to create all natural, dairy free, and sustainable products. They currently provide four flavors of Just Mayo – original, sriracha, garlic, and chiptole – and cookies, Just the Cookies, which they distribute to food services.
The team’s even rolling out a product, Just Scramble, that looks and tastes like scrambled eggs. See it for yourself in Tetrick’s Tedx on The Future of Food. The egg test is at 15:57, but I urge you to watch the video in it’s entirety to understand the urgent need to change the food system. You’ll also learn about the theory of 10x driving the team’s progress.
“We can move ten times as fast, create ten times as much change. This is how we operate, this is how we become a global force, this is how we will win,” Tetrick shared.
The strides Hampton Creek is making for a more sustainable future are impressive, but based on my personal interactions with Tetrick and Morgan Oliveira, Director of Communications at Hampton Creek, their commitment to making healthy food accessible distinguishes the brand.
“We think it is so backwards that healthier food today is more expensive. And we are going to change this – for everyone,” Tetrick said.
The products are true to the company’s mission, as Just Mayo can be purchased for under four dollars (even under two dollars depending on size) at grocery stores ranging from Ralph’s and Safeway to Costco and Vons – Rather than just at Whole Foods.
Since launching in 2011 the company’s raised $30 million, with the most recent round led by Horizons Ventures. Although the team’s excited by their rapid expansion, Tetrick affirms that that bringing healthy, delicious, and sustainable products to everyone – a difficult feat in the health food industry – remains their primary goal.
The team iterates fast, and what appears to be seamlessly from the outside, as a result of their growing database of plant proteins. The company celebrated their first international expansion on Friday, bringing Just Mayo to Hong Kong, and will be adding Just Cookie Dough, an eggless cookie dough, to their desert line this summer.
Warning: The pictures of food, cute animals, and excited customers may cause you to immediately go to the store.
Photo via Hampton Creek’s Facebook