Food Companies Seek Plant-Based Egg Alternatives

As avian flu continues to spread, companies such as General Mills and Bon Appétit look for egg alternatives.


As major food companies and restaurant chains feel the devastating effects of the avian flu outbreak—which has spread throughout the US since last December—demands for plant-based egg replacements are on the rise. The US Department of Agriculture reports that approximately 30 million egg-laying hens, or 13 percent of the nation’s force, have died or been killed due to the outbreak. As a result, the country faces a shortage of eggs and prices have climbed up to 93 percent for certain types of eggs over the past year. Bon Appétit Management Company, which operates about 500 cafés including several at Disneyland, now makes tofu omelettes at some of its locations. General Mills has purchased tens of thousands of pounds of Hampton Creek’s Just Mix powdered egg-replacement for products such as Betty Crocker Angel Food Cake Mix. Hampton Creek further aims to launch mixes for egg-free muffins and pancakes later this summer, which will be available in stores like Costco. As its CEO Josh Tetrick says, “This is not about a quick fix. It’s about stepping back and saying, if you could redesign the food system from scratch, what would it look like?”

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