This week, California-based food technology startup Eat Just—maker of vegan JUST Egg—announced its plan to build a protein production facility in Singapore. The facility will be built in partnership with Proterra Asia, the top food-focused investment fund in Asia, which will contribute up to $100 million on top of Eat Just’s $20 million investment. The partners will operate as Eat Just Asia and the facility will be the largest plant protein factory in Singapore serving JUST Egg manufacturing and distribution partners across Asia. “Proterra is excited to announce this collaboration to form a strategic alliance with Eat Just for Asia; we would like to help consumers across Asia get better access to the excellent plant-based egg product by establishing a fully integrated supply chain within Eat Just Asia,” Tai Lin, Managing Partner of Proterra Asia, said.
Once built, the facility will generate thousands of metric tons of protein, adding to the startup’s existing large-scale protein facilities in North America and Germany. “This partnership will further accelerate our path to become one of the world’s largest producers of eggs in the next decade. Proterra’s experience across sourcing and manufacturing will be invaluable. Consumer demand, driven by health, food security, and food safety, is creating an environment of extraordinary opportunity for this unique partnership,” Eat Just Co-Founder and CEO Josh Tetrick said.
Welcomed by the government of Singapore through its Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), the new project will result in creating jobs and infrastructure in the region. Eat Just plans to open additional facilities in Asia—where its mung bean-based JUST Egg is distributed through multiple partners—to provide a more sustainable source of protein in the region. Proterra and Eat Just are also currently in discussions about the commercial production of cultured meat—slaughter-free meat made using a small amount of animal cells.
“It is increasingly important for us to invest in novel sustainable agri-food technologies, such as alternative proteins, to meet the world’s future needs for food and nutrition,” EDB Executive Vice President Damian Chan said. “The partnership between Eat Just and Proterra is an important addition to Singapore’s agri-food ecosystem and will build new innovation and production capabilities within the sector here. This will allow us to better cater to the needs of the Asian markets, while creating exciting opportunities for Singapore.”
Stateside, Eat Just will launch a new and improved version of JUST Egg—which Tetrick describes as “more egg-like than many chicken eggs”—exclusively at Whole Foods Market by the end of the year. The startup is working aggressively toward making JUST Egg more affordable than chicken eggs. To date, Eat Just has sold the vegan equivalent of 60 million chicken eggs.