JUST, a company creating healthful products created with natural resources, made its mission all about helping people eat well. Partnering with Michelin-starred chefs, JUST’s products are not only tasty, but mindful of the earth.
I chatted with Andrew Noyes, JUST’s Head of Communications, about the origins of the company and how its products strive to be as sustainable as they are delicious.
“We began looking to the vast plant kingdom for potential solutions to some of the core challenges facing our food system, one of which being the limited number of core ingredients that the biggest food companies are using to make the food we eat every day," Andrew tells me. "Food companies have traditionally relied on soy, corn, processed sugar, and animal protein, but there are 300,000+ species of plants all around the world that have never been explored for how they can make our cookies or pasta or ice cream or butter or scrambled eggs better.”
In order to find out what worked best, the company simply started exploring. Plants became the main focus due to their sustainability and potential to make delicious food. Through this exploration, the company made its first product: a mayonnaise made with a yellow pea from Canada, and people mistakenly called them a mayo company. However, Andrew assures me that the company is so much more.
“Since those early days, we’ve expanded our product offerings to new categories and have partnered with some of the largest retail and foodservice distributors in the world to provide food that is delicious, affordable, more nutritious, more sustainable,” Andrew explains to me. “Our two latest products also happen to be two that consumers have shown the most enthusiasm about. Just Egg has the potential to transform and expand the egg category, and Just Cookie Dough is a sweet treat that many people in the U.S. and elsewhere have come to enjoy.”
So, what makes Just Egg and Just Cookie Dough different from other products out there? For starters, I was absolutely blown away that this egg substitute had no egg in it whatsoever. In order to assuage my curiosity, Andrew is more than happy to clue me in to how this is possible.
“Just Egg creates a fluffy, filling protein-rich meal, free from antibiotics and cholesterol. Its ingredients require less water and emit fewer carbon emissions than conventional chicken eggs,” Andrew tells me, seconds away from blowing my mind about the actual ingredient in Just Egg. “The product, made from the 4,400-year-old mung bean, cooks like an egg, tastes like an egg, and although our team is still improving on the initial release, is as versatile as an egg in a number of innovative dishes.”
Just Egg will become available to grocery and foodservice distributors in the coming months. Andrew noted that the pourable liquid is perfect for scrambles and omelettes, or as a baked patty for breakfast sandwiches and wraps. One of the company’s restaurant partners reported that having Just Egg available led to a 42 percent increase in egg-related sales and a 13 percent increase in total breakfast sales. Another reported that after adding Just Egg to the menu, 30 percent of egg-related sales were made with the product.
In addition to Just Egg’s popularity, another product that’s catching consumers’ eyes is JUST’s Cookie Dough. By the way Andrew describes it, it’s no wonder the cookie dough is a hit.
“Just Cookie Dough is just plain fun, and this summer we’re launching new versions of the highly sought-after product,” Andrew explains, noting that its popularity required a reboot of the company’s manufacturing capabilities in order to keep up with demand. “Within a year of its initial launch, Just Cookie Dough became the #1 seller at a top-three national retailer while gaining 21 percent share and driving the category to double-digit growth, according to IRI point-of-sale data.”
This egg-free, dairy-free, non-GMO option can be eaten raw or baked (perfect for those times when I eat more cookie dough than actual baked cookies). Available soon to U.S. retailers in Chocolate Chip, Birthday Cake, and a brand new Chocolate Mint flavor, these items will come in 14 oz jars and snackable 1.6 oz single-serve cups. For foodservice distributors, there’s a scoop-friendly 5 lb option—although I’m certainly tempted by that option myself.