Egg Replacement Startup Raises $23 Million. Is this the Future of Food?

Hampton Creek Foods

Hampton Creek Foods is a San Francisco start-up company that vastly differs from its web and mobile technology neighbors. Its goal – to replace eggs for food processing with a cheap, plant based formula. You won’t be able to enjoy sunny side eggs with this product, but expect to see it in mayonnaise, doughs, and  other food products that call for eggs. In fact, Whole Foods Market recently began carrying the company’s Just Mayo product.

A team of scientists at Hampton Creek has spent the last few years developing a formula that seeks to emulate all the benefits of eggs from both a nutrition and culinary perspective. The results are promising, as company executives are reporting on upcoming collaboration with major food companies. Hampton Creek just raised $23 Million dollars in funding from Asian Billionaire Li Ka Shing.

It seems like a win-win for everyone.

Egg production on massive scale today is fraught with issues. Factory farms cramp millions of hens into tight quarters, pump them with antibiotics and pollute the environment. The process is inefficient, because hens require feed and housing to produce eggs. Hampton Creek’s solution cuts the input costs twenty-fold! This means that food companies using its product will actually be saving money and doing a good thing at the same time.

What do you think? Will we be seeing more of these food solutions in years to come?

  • Cliff

    Sounds gross.

    • vroomvsr

      It’s made out of plant proteins and fibers. IT’s just as natural. I don’t see your problem with it.

      • Cliff

        “… a formula that seeks to emulate all the benefits of eggs” sounds gross. Just sayin’.

    • Barbara

      I’m guessing sooner or later the powers to be will recognize nothing can replace whole foods. Humans in America would be a lot healthier if they ate foods that we are designed to eat:)

  • Melanie

    It seems interesting, but what plant based ingredients are they using? I’m interested in alternative options for animal proteins since farming practices are out of control unless it’s a small organic farm, plus there are huge benefits of getting in more plants…maybe Dr Seuss wasn’t so far off with “Green Eggs and ham”!!!

  • Lydia Gaebe Bishop

    It’s PROCESSED food! Real eggs are better than anything PROCESSED. Is it processed from GMO plant based ingredients? I get my eggs from my neighbor’s hens. Those hens are friendly and lots of fun to watch.

    • Fooducate

      It’s great that you get quality eggs from happy hens. That’s about 0.0001% of the eggs produced in the world. We need a solution for the rest…

  • Vi Jani

    people don’t realize that eggs is a form of meat, if they took the time out to find out why eating eggs is wrong they would appreciate this egg replacement more.

  • Brian

    I’m REALLY tired of vegan people telling me not to eat eggs. I’ll take real eggs thank you very much. What is needed is a more back to basics approach of small local farms.

    • Sam

      This has nothing to do with vegans telling you not to eat eggs..

    • Fooducate

      Hey Brian, where did anyone tell anyone what to do? We’re really tired of people complaining about other people here. And no, we’re not vegan.

    • Nicole Johnson

      I must have confused the part where Vegan’s were telling us not to eat eggs for something having to do with the effects of the inefficiency, inhumanity, and environmentally harmful effects of our modern food production practices. And I was waaay off in my understanding that this product doesn’t seek to replace farm fresh eggs but rather the egg components in the thousands of products you don’t even require eggs to produce…

      Behold. The quintessential example of the defense mechanism that prevents any form of logic to penetrate the mind.

  • Aria Gonzalez

    I highly doubt they will ever be nutritionally equivalent to real eggs. I’ll bet they’ll SAY they are, though, and gloss over the harmful aspects. I would say that I don’t buy my eggs from factory farms. I try to go free range and local.

    • overseaschinese

      Mass produced eggs lacks the real nutritional value from real eggs anyways, so I sure hope these sort of ‘eggs’ will not be marketed as the magic eggs with all the necessary nutrition…or can they? It’s processed, so it wouldn’t stop them from adding vitamins and minerals to boost its nutritional value to a real egg. Hmmm…

  • jabyssal

    It seems okay to me as long as they don’t use the word egg in the name, beyond or otherwise. It is just processed/manufactured food whose name implies some kind of “natural” product. Call it Soylent Green by any other name. It is not from a chicken, so it does not matter which comes first.

  • overseaschinese

    From a commercial point of view, there is definitely a significant market for this. From an ethical point of view, each to their own. From a safety point of view, I think it’s very important to ensure that it is food safe and equally important, not misleading to the consumers when it is at the Point-of-Sales.

    It’s really no different from other process food that we eat. How this will shift the market across the entire supply chain, that’d be interesting.

  • SandyB


  • Boz

    I’m disappointed in you, Fooducate. I agree with others. This ISNT food. Find alternative fuel or electricity, not food. People are saying its great without even knowing the ingredients. Is this Fooducate or

    • Fooducate

      Why are you disappointed in Fooducate when Fooducate tries to bring you news? Shooting the messenger today?

      • Nicole Johnson

        Foodacute is providing us insight into alternatives for what we all take for granted and assume to be the only way. Who knew the egg products in mayonnaise could be replaced with a completely different ingredient derived from plant rather than animal? Last I checked, no one eats mayonnaise for its health benefits. On that note, there’s admittedly a huge flaw in the marketing scheme for this product as clearly the main concern of those who’ve commented is the claim of equivalency in nutritional value.

  • Mary

    I just viewed their website. Ingredients include modified food starch. Only nutrients per serving are sodium and fat. All other nutrients show zero %. This is just another processed food. I probably wouldn’t buy much of it. I don’t use much mayo anyway.

    • Mary

      Correction the ingredient list was for their Just Mayo mayonnaise replacement. They don’t give the egg replacement ingredients separately on the label.

  • EVIL food scientist

    FIRE BAD!!!

    • Nicole Johnson

      Unfortunately our food production practices currently can not accommodate the appetites and nutritional needs of our massive population without preservative laden options. To be frank, that requires a full fledge restructuring that our government and economy are unwilling to support.

  • Dirk Wethington

    I avoid processed food as much as possible. At the end of the day though, my ethics about food and animals is far more important to me, so I applaud this. A return to back-to-basics and/or local farms will never happen. Some people have access to those resources, but the demand is such that as long as the majority of people eat eggs (or meat, etc.), animals will be tortured to meet that demand. Within the confines of free-market capitalism, selling animals for food will always entail unnecessary suffering.

    • Janice

      Almost anyone can keep 4 hens and grow their own eggs from very happy chickens.

      • Mars007

        The city I live in has laws against that. Also would not be very hygienic in the city. I think it’s actually that almost no one is in the right situation to have 4 hens and “grow” their own eggs. I am sure you could try it with parakeets anywhere…

      • Nicole Johnson

        Well, ya know, unless your one of the millions of people living in an apartment. In which case, why not cram a few hens in your closet or on the balcony? Duh.

    • Fooducate

      Great analysis!

    • Patti

      Is it a healthy product or are we going to find that it is poisioning us… that is my concern… along with concern for the poor quality of life the hens in mass production farms have.

  • Janice

    It’s so easy to keep 4 hens that will provide all the eggs your family needs. If you don’t like factory farms, this is one thing you can do yourself.

    • Fooducate

      Not really easy for city dwellers or people living in apartments.

      • Aria Gonzalez

        Hah! The apartment dwellers in Vancouver tried. That’s why there’s a law against it. :) It would be nice if we were allowed chicken coups within the city…

  • Cactus_Wren

    This may be the least informative article I’ve ever seen on Fooducate. We’re given no clue as to what this substance is to be made of, or how it’s to be manufactured, or what form it’s to take — only an assertion that it exists, or may exist in the undefined future. (And could you POSSIBLY be less specific than describing someone as an “Asian Billionaire”? He merits no more specific national identity than “Asian” — not “Chinese”, not “Hong Kong-based”, but merely “Asian” as if everything from Turkey to Sri Lanka to Singapore to Kamchatka could be subsumed under a single cultural identity?)

    • Fooducate

      There is no information on the company’s site as to the makeup of the egg replacement product. May be a trade secret of some sort.
      Is everything OK, you seem very aggressive in your comment today?

  • Miri Cotton

    There’s so many negative responses, especially towards the fooducate team! They’re not telling us we should eat this, they’re not saying people are better for eating it. They’re just simply putting the info out there. We’re all grown ups here. And for the record, I’d be excited to try an egg replaced product – if it matches the nutritional content, I see no harm. It’d probably have less cholesterol, fat, and calories too!

  • Mars007

    I LOVE the idea of plant based egg substitute! I like eggs but the whole idea has always been unappealing to me. If we can have milk from almonds and coconuts etc that is natural and free from all the bad ingredients in both milk and soy, there is no reason we cannot do that with eggs. I am excited and cautiously optimistic.

  • mamabear

    Thank you so much for this! I had no idea this was a possibility. As a parent of a child who is highly allergic to eggs (epi-pen carrying and all), I see this as an incredible blessing. We have tried many different egg replacements in foods but they just aren’t the same. I hope this is a real possibility that will make certain food groups a reality for my son (who is also allergic to milk).

  • natty

    I like the (Incredible edible EGG)

  • Peter KFitness

    It may be a beneficial product. My concern is it is yet another “artificial” food that we may, or may not know is in are food. Should we be eating processed foods that are made with an egg substitute in the first place?