Cracking up: Brazil-based Grupo Mantiqueira launches plant-based egg alternative
25 Mar 2019 --- South America’s largest egg producer has debuted a plant-based egg in response to the continued demand for plant-based foods. Thinktank company the Good Food Institute (GFI) Brazil, has been working with Grupo Mantiqueira, a Brazil-based egg producer, which has launched N.Ovo, made from pea starch and plant protein. The launch comes at a time when egg replacements are seeing significant market growth, as consumers are increasingly looking for tasty, healthy, more sustainable sources of protein and retailers and restaurants are searching for ways to elevate either stagnant or declining egg sales.
N.Ovo will be sold in cardboard cartons, similar to the company’s conventional egg products. The product is designed to be a one-to-one swap for eggs used in bakery items such as cakes and bread.
In a recent poll by GFI among more than 900 Brazilians, 29 percent of respondents reported wanting to reduce their consumption of animal products. This translates to almost sixty million people across the nation.
“We found broad social acceptance of reducing intake of animal products: Seventy-six percent of respondents reported a positive perception of people who are reducing the consumption of animal products,” GFI says.
GFI Brazil has been gathering data on consumer perceptions and the state of the Brazilian market to draw awareness among meat, egg and dairy producers to the rising demand for plant-based products.
“I was born and raised in the animal protein industry and could see from the inside out that there are much more sustainable ways to feed the world. GFI has been very important to connect me with plant-based companies and show me alternative ways of producing food,” says Amanda Pinto, Innovation Manager at Grupo Mantiqueira.
Grupo Mantiqueira is hopeful that other eggs, meat and dairy producers will follow suit and we will continue to build partnerships to pave the way for continued innovation. N.Ovo is expected to be sold in supermarket chains, stores and natural products stores and in the future, it will be part of the newly launched Clube do Ovo, a subscription service with scheduled delivery of eggs at home.
As consumers more frequently turn to vegan-friendly products and ingredients, the vegan bakery sector will continue to boom. Vegan claims on packaging are becoming much more desirable and the industry can expect to see further innovation in this area. Egg replacement ingredients will become more readily available for applications outside of bakery, such as condiments, confectionery and snacks. Last month, FoodIngredientsFirst reported that there could be several reasons for this ongoing development.
Also last month, US plant-based foods company JUST announced its collaboration with German poultry business PHW Group to accelerate the adoption of its plant-based egg substitute (marketed in the US as “JUST Egg”) to consumers in Europe. Subject to European regulatory approval, the first products are expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2019. Eurovo will manufacture the product in Europe, and both PHW and Eurovo will sell and distribute to retailers and foodservice providers across the continent, according to the companies.
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