A hard egg to crack. The question of how to create vegan alternatives to eggs was one we really wanted to solve. So we did.
It’s honestly an exciting time to work in the food industry, especially in the plant-based space. Over the last few years, and even the past year, products have improved tremendously. I was once told (and I forget by whom, so I can’t cite them, sorry!) that we have to look at every animal-derived product as an opportunity. I see vegan eggs as one of the next hurdles to jump in this quickly-moving plant-based market. In fact, our partners at Datassential see vegan eggs in the inception phase of the menu adoption cycle when it comes to healthy/better-for-you ingredients.
But why do we think this about vegan eggs? Within one of our recent proprietary studies among plant-based meat consumers, we asked, “What is the next plant-based product you’d like to try?”
I was shocked to see that 38% of our consumers said they “definitely would buy” vegan eggs. And when you make it a Top 2 Box Purchase Intent (“definitely would buy” and “probably would buy”), it becomes 74%!
74% of plant-based meat consumers say they would ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ buy vegan eggs.Source: Givaudan Primary Research, Next Generation of Plant-based
And none of this matters unless you create products consumers want to see. So what might your customers and consumers actually WANT their vegan eggs to be like? What kind of applications are consumers telling us they want to see made with vegan eggs? Well, let’s take a look at the below results from our proprietary research.
But What to Have with Eggs?
I’ll admit, eggs are not my favorite food item. I should specify and say that PLAIN eggs are not my favorite. Give me an omelet or eggs in a burrito, and I’m fine. But it turns out that I am like many other consumers: we like some figurative ‘meat’ in our eggs! In our panel of consumers, cheeses were the number one ingredient participants wanted to have added to their eggs. I know this to be true. In my house, my husband won’t touch eggs unless they have some cheese on them!
But what about the FLAVORS of these various inclusions? What kinds of cheeses would consumers prefer in their eggs? What about the vegetable inclusions? What kinds of plant-based meats would they want? Ahhh, I have these answers for you, but you’ll need to ask your Account Manager about these marketing insights or contact us here. We have the capabilities to help you find the right flavor profile for your consumer or customer, and we can find the right ingredients to fit your processes. Our vegetable purees and pieces can add a freshness to the eggs, while our seasoning blends can add an authentic made-at-home taste. Our team can help you get the right balance of all these ingredients to fit the freezing or cooking method of your brand’s products.
Biggest Difficulty in Product Development
I admit I was curious about these “non-egg” eggs for years. Even when I’ve seen egg replacers on the market, I’ve always wondered if they carried the same taste. But today’s vegan eggs are ripe for growth and improvement. Our team decided to tackle the bases of mung bean and canola protein to create some demos to showcase just what can be done in the vegan egg space. As a hesitator in this space, I was definitely impressed with our team’s work and the demos!
The most important piece of vegan egg development is really that mouthfeel piece. It’s the texture and consistency of the eggs that need to be perfect. It’s like Goldilocks, it can be too firm or too runny, it needs to be just right. The texture is often the #1 turn-off for consumers when eating new and possibly unique products (I don’t eat whole swaths of foods because of a texture issue I have). We used our Sapnov emulsifier to help with the texture of the vegan egg patty. This emulsifier is a natural, sustainably sourced, GMO-free ingredient that can be used in a variety of applications, but it’s quite perfect here to zero-in on that perfect, fluffy, yet cohesive egg product.
When it comes to vegan eggs, it’s the yolky flavor some people love and some people hate! ? With our egg yolk and other flavors, we can pinpoint that perfect yolky spot. Not to mention, we can supplement that yolky flavor in your egg products with other additions if choose to add inclusions. Need a boost of chili? We can find the right jalapeno, habanero, red pepper chili flake, or other hot flavors to take the product up a notch.
I mentioned this before, but vegan eggs are in that “inception” phase of the menu adoption cycle for healthy/better-for-you ingredients. And our team took care to make sure that our demos – and how we approach your product development – takes the same focus.
“Nutritionally, Givaudan vegetarian egg demos have zero cholesterol and 20% fewer calories and fat compared to real whole egg products while still maintaining similar flavor.”– Wendye Panzer, Scientist II
Tasting Is Believing
We could talk more about where to start and what to do when it comes to vegan eggs, but we can’t give away all our secrets! As the issue of reducing the intake of animal-derived products continues to trend, we want to be your partner in product development. Taste our demos to see how vegan eggs can be a delicious opportunity for you. Talk with our team of experts to understand how we can help with our products and natural ingredients. Now is the time to take the next step into the plant-based world. Be a trailblazer. Givaudan is here to help.
Great article Ashley! I know the commitment you and the team have made to creating the best tasting vegan eggs! You are poised to help your customers in this space with Givaudan’s portfolio of ingredients & flavors! Well done!