Global egg marketing company Ovotec Limited CEO Morten Ernst—who has has a long career working in the egg industry—recently penned an op-ed for media outlet Food Dive expressing the need for egg producers to shift toward plant-based products to sustain the growing world population. “We must begin to adopt agricultural practices that greatly reduce environmental impact and embrace newcomers who are exploring plant-based proteins,” Ernst advised. Ernst pointed to millennials as the driving demographic for plant-based foods, and highlighted the trend of large meat companies such as Tyson and Cargill investing in plant-based alternatives, positing that egg companies should follow suit. “Whether the motivation stems from a health or allergen standpoint, from religious beliefs, or from animal welfare or sustainability concerns, times (and appetites) are certainly changing,” Ernst said. “This trend is also an indication of broader changes occurring in food consumption habits, and we in the food industry need to take notice and adapt.” Ernst is now working with food technology startup JUST—the company behind eggless Just Mayo, a product that displaced the United States egg industry during the bird influenza outbreak in 2015—to find collaboration opportunities and partnerships within the global egg industry. “It won’t happen overnight,” Ernst concluded, “but I clearly see the changing tides. This is a huge opportunity for our industry to support forward-thinking innovators to set a new industry standard together.” Last year, JUST debuted its egg replacer Just Scramble at one San Francisco restaurant and expanded the offering to Hong Kong-based grocery chain Green Common in January, with plans to expand distribution, aided by Ernst, through foodservice partners across the US and Asia.
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