- Whole Foods Market will be adding Just Egg vegan scrambles to hot bars in 63 stores across California, Arizona, Hawaii and Las Vegas next month, according to an email sent to Grocery Dive.
- Three vegan breakfast sandwiches featuring the mung bean-based egg will also be available at hot bars or pizza stations during Whole Foods' breakfast hours. The sandwich options include a bacon, egg and cheese alternative and one with Just spicy chorizo. The grocer is also working on a breakfast pizza featuring Just egg.
- Whole Foods will be the first national retailer to add Just Egg products to its prepared food offerings, a spokesperson for the manufacturer told Grocery Dive. The grocer also carries 12-ounce bottles of Just Egg for $6.99 at stores nationwide.
Continued growth in plant-based items is popping up on many 2020 trend lists, and Whole Foods has named plant-based products as one of its top 10 food trends for the coming year. Expanding these selections not just on shelves but in prepared foods, as well, shows the grocer's determination to capitalize on the trend.
"We are always looking for great partners to help us offer more delicious and exciting vegan options for our customers," said Megan Tucker, associate product coordinator at Whole Foods Market Southern Pacific region, in a statement.
This is Just's first full year of distribution, a spokesperson told Grocery Dive, and it's been a busy one. Its liquid egg is available at 20 large U.S. retailers and more than 500 foodservice locations, including restaurants, universities and corporate cafeterias. Pennsylvania-based Rutter’s Convenience Stores recently added Just's plant-based items to their inventory, becoming the first c-store in the country to offer the egg substitute on its foodservice menu.
Earlier this month, Just announced plans to acquire a 30,000 square foot facility in Appleton, Minnesota, from Del Dee Foods. The expansion will allow Just to scale up its protein extraction process and increase distribution globally.
Whole Foods has long carried vegan items on its shelves, but the expansion of Just Egg to its hot bar and pizza stations is a testament to the importance of prepared foods for the retailer. The grocer has vegan burger restaurant Next Level inside a few West Coast locations. In 2018, Whole Foods added Ahimi, a plant-based sushi, to its grab-and-go options in 40 stores.
Global market research firm Innova Market Insights has seen a 68% average annual growth in plant-based food and beverage items in the past five years. Vegan egg replacements, in particular, are a hot commodity. According to a report, sales of vegan egg replacements are expected to grow 5.7% between 2017 and 2022.