Eat Just

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Hampton Creek)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Eat Just, Inc.
FormerlyBeyond Eggs, Hampton Creek Foods, Inc.
TypePrivate
IndustryFood
Founded2011; 10 years ago (2011)
Founders
Headquarters
San Francisco, California, United States
Key people
Josh Tetrick, CEO
Websitewww.ju.st

Eat Just, Inc. is a private company headquartered in San Francisco, California. It develops and markets plant-based alternatives to conventionally-produced egg products. Eat Just was founded in 2011 by Josh Tetrick and Josh Balk. It raised about $120 million in early venture capital and became a unicorn in 2016 by surpassing a $1 billion valuation. It has been involved in several highly publicized disputes with traditional egg industry interests but has also partnered with them to produce and sell products. In December 2020 its lab-grown chicken became the first lab-grown meat to receive regulatory approval in Singapore. Shortly thereafter, Eat Just's cultured meat was sold to diners at the Singapore restaurant "1880", making it the "world's first commercial sale of cell-cultured meat".[1]

Corporate history[edit]

2011-2014[edit]

Eat Just Inc. was founded in 2011 under the name Beyond Eggs and then Hampton Creek Foods[2] by childhood friends Josh Balk and Josh Tetrick.[3]:26 It started in Los Angeles, California, then moved to Tetrick's garage in San Francisco in 2012.[4][5][6] At the time, the company had about 30 employees.[3]:118 Initially, it had $500,000[5] then $2 million in venture capital funding from Khosla Ventures.[7]

Hampton Creek's first two years were spent in research and development.[8] It tested plant varieties in a lab[4]:3 in order to identify plant proteins with properties similar to chicken eggs,[9][10][11] such as gelling and emulsifying.[4]:3 Eat Just created an automated process for testing plants that was patented in 2016.[4]:3, 17 Information like each plant's drought tolerance, taste, and any likely allergenic problems were compiled into a database called Orchard.[3]:61

In September 2013, Whole Foods became the first major grocery chain to sell Hampton Creek products,[11][12] when it started using JUST Mayo in certain prepared foods.[13] This was followed by deals with Costco and Safeway.[12][14][15] By early 2014, the company had raised $30 million in venture capital funding.[16] Later that year, it raised another $90 million.[17][18]

The American Egg Board responded to the growth of Hampton Creek and other egg substitute companies with an advertising campaign featuring the slogan "Accept No Substitutes."[11]

2014-2016[edit]

In October 2014, competitor Unilever sued Hampton Creek Foods alleging the "JUST Mayo" name misled consumers into believing the product contained real eggs.[19][20] Public sentiment favored Hampton Creek and more than 100,000 people eventually signed a Change.org petition asking Unilever to "stop bullying sustainable food companies."[20][21][22][23] Unilever withdrew its lawsuit[24] six weeks after filing it.[25] However, the Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter saying the Just Mayo name was misleading to consumers, since the product must contain real eggs to be called "mayonnaise."[26][27] In December 2015, Hampton Creek reached an agreement with the FDA to make it more clear in the Just Mayo packaging that it does not contain real eggs.[28] Publicity from the lawsuit[6][21] and an egg shortage from the avian bird flu,[29] helped Hampton Creek grow.

In late 2015, several former employees anonymously alleged Hampton Creek was exaggerating the science behind its products, mislabeling the ingredients in pre-production samples, and manipulated employment contracts.[30][31] Then, emails secured through the Freedom of Information Act showed that the American Egg Board hired Edelman Public Relations to engage in a campaign targeting Hampton Creek's reputation.[31][32] Among other things, the emails inferred the Egg Board discussed interfering with Hampton's contract with Whole Foods, encouraged Unilever in their legal actions against Hampton Creek, and made jokes about hiring a hitman to kill the Hampton Creek CEO.[33][34][35] The United States Department of Agriculture opened an investigation and the CEO of the Egg Board resigned.[36][37][38]

Then, in 2016, a Bloomberg story reported on evidence inferring that Hampton Creek bought its own products off of store shelves in order to inflate sales numbers during fund-raising.[39] Hampton Creek said this was part of an unorthodox quality control program.[39] The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice started an inquiry[40][41] that was closed in March 2017[42] after concluding the allegations were insignificant.[3]:141–142

2016-Present[edit]

By 2016 Eat Just had 142 employees.[4]:17 Late that year, it also substantially expanded its laboratory testing of prospective plant proteins, using robots and automation.[43]:302–303 In August 2016, Hampton Creek raised another round of funding from investors.[44] The funding made the company a unicorn with a valuation of over $1 billion, but the amount of the funding was not disclosed.[44]

In June 2017, Target stopped selling Hampton Creek products after seeing an anonymous letter alleging food safety issues, such as salmonella and listeria at Eat Just's manufacturing facility.[45][46] Target said none of its customers reported getting sick[46] and an FDA investigation found no contaminants in Hampton Creek's products.[5]

Several of Hampton Creek's executives were fired in 2017, after the company alleged they were trying to take away CEO Josh Tetrick's control of the company.[47] By July 2017, the entire board had been fired, resigned, or moved to an advisory role except for the CEO and founder Josh Tetrick,[48][49] reportedly over disputes with the CEO.[50] Five new board members were appointed.[4]:9

Hampton Creek started transitioning its website and other branding to focus on the "Just" name in June 2017.[51] The company's legal name was changed the following year.[51] This prompted trademark litigation with a bottled water company run by Jaden Smith that also uses the "Just" brand.[51]

In late 2019, Eat Just Inc. acquired its first manufacturing plant.[52] The 30,000 square foot plant in Appleton, Minnesota was originally a Del Dee Foods plant.[52] Eat Just sales increased by more than 100% from February to July 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[53][54]

In 2020, Eat Just created an Asian subsidiary with Proterra Investment Partners Asia.[55] Through the joint venture, Proterra promised to invest up to $100 million and, with Eat Just, started building a manufacturing facility in Singapore.[56]

Food products[edit]

Eat Just develops and markets plant-based substitutes for foods that ordinarily use chicken eggs, such as scrambled eggs and mayonnaise. The company is best known for its plant-based JUST Egg made from mung beans and a mayonnaise substitute called JUST Mayo, which is made primarily from a variant of the Canadian yellow pea.[27][57] According to Eat Just, the company has made the equivalent of 60 million eggs worth of food products as of 2020.[58]

The company's egg substitutes are developed by finding plant proteins that serve a function eggs are normally used for, such as binding or emulsifying.[10][18] For example, plant proteins are analyzed for molecular weight, amino acid sequences,[13] and performance under heat or pressure.[9] Much of the testing is focused on finding high-protein plants with specific types of proteins.[3]:61

Eat Just's first product, Beyond Eggs, was intended to replace eggs in baked goods and was released in February 2013.[7] It's made with peas and other ingredients.[59] Later on, Eat Just developed plant-based substitutes for mayonnaise[60] and cookie dough.[61] Initially, the company focused on foods that use eggs as an ingredient, like muffins.[14][62] In July 2017, it started selling a substitute for scrambled eggs called Just Egg[63][64] that is made from mung beans.[63] It released a frozen version in January 2020.[65]

In late 2017, Eat Just announced it was developing a lab-grown meat product[50] to make chicken nuggets.[52] The meat is grown in a bioreactor in a fluid of amino acids, sugar, and salt.[66] The chicken nuggets are 70% lab-grown meat, while the remainder is made from mung bean proteins and other ingredients.[67] The company is also working on lab-grown Japanese Wagyu beef.[68] Lab-grown, also known as cultured or cell-based meat, cannot be sold commercially until it is allowed by government regulators.[67]

In December 2020, the Government of Singapore approved lab-grown meat created by Eat Just, branded as GOOD Meat.[69][70][71]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Scully, Matthew (January 17, 2021). "Hello Cultured Meat, Goodbye to the Cruelty of Industrial Animal Farming". National Review. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  2. ^ "Disruptive Foods: What Seemed Impossible Sizzles in the Private Market". SharesPost. May 31, 2019. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e Purdy, Chase (2020). Billion dollar burger : inside big tech's race for the future of food. New York, New York: Portfolio / Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. ISBN 978-0-525-53694-9. OCLC 1121602679.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Cian, Luca; Yemen, Gerry; Boichuk, Jeff (September 4, 2019). "Just: Positioned to Target Mainstream Tastes?". University of Virginia. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ a b c Bosker, Bianca (October 2, 2017). "Mayonnaise, Disrupted". The Atlantic. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Henry, Sarah (March 2, 2015). "Can a California company do better than the egg?". Washington Post. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  7. ^ a b Ha, Anthony (February 13, 2013). "Khosla-Backed Hampton Creek Foods Launches Beyond Eggs, A Genuinely Convincing Egg Replacer". TechCrunch. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  8. ^ "Xconomy: Hampton Creek Foods Reinvents the Egg---and Cookie Dough". Xconomy. December 24, 2013. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  9. ^ a b Brownstone, Sydney (December 2, 2013). "Can Silicon Valley Make Fake Meat and Eggs That Don't Suck?". Mother Jones.
  10. ^ a b VanHemert, Kyle (December 10, 2013). "Inside Look: The Startup Lab Using Plants to Make Next-Gen Super Eggs". WIRED. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  11. ^ a b c Mac, Ryan (November 23, 2013). "Bill Gates' Food Fetish: Hampton Creek Foods Looks To Crack The Egg Industry". Forbes. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  12. ^ a b Greenwald, Ted (May 7, 2014). "Hampton Creek and Other Startups Hope to Get into the Food Supply". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  13. ^ a b Greenwald, Ted (May 7, 2014). "Hampton Creek and Other Startups Hope to Get into the Food Supply". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Eggless Eggs Exist and This Is What They Taste Like". Time. August 18, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  15. ^ Bradshaw, Tim (October 31, 2014). "Food 2.0: the future of what we eat". Financial Times. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  16. ^ Mac, Ryan (February 17, 2014). "Egg Replacing Startup Hampton Creek Foods Raises $23 Million From Asia's Richest Man And Yahoo Cofounder Jerry Yang". Forbes. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  17. ^ Mac, Ryan (December 18, 2014). "Unilever Drops Mayo Lawsuit Against Egg-Replacing Startup Hampton Creek". Forbes. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  18. ^ a b Zaleski, Andrew (December 22, 2014). "An Eggless Egg You Can Fry". Newsweek.
  19. ^ "Hellmann's Maker Sues Company Over Its Just Mayo Substitute Mayonnaise". The New York Times. November 10, 2014. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  20. ^ a b Lagorio-Chafkin, Christine (November 11, 2014). "Egg-Free Food Startup Unfazed by Mayonnaise Lawsuit". Inc.com. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  21. ^ a b Kaplan, Sarah (December 18, 2015). "How little 'Just Mayo' took on Big Egg and won". Washington Post. Retrieved February 27, 2020. Unfortunately for Unilever, the suit backfired, generating a huge amount of publicity for Hampton Creek and outrage from Just Mayo fans, who filed a Change.org petition urging Unilever to “stop bullying sustainable food companies.”
  22. ^ Rooney, Ben (December 19, 2014). "Unilever lays an egg: Drops Just Mayo lawsuit". CNNMoney. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  23. ^ Gasparro, Annie (November 11, 2014). "Hellmann's Seeks Justice vs. Just Mayo". WSJ. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  24. ^ Mac, Ryan (December 18, 2014). "Unilever Drops Mayo Lawsuit Against Egg-Replacing Startup Hampton Creek". Forbes. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  25. ^ "Unilever drops lawsuit against vegan mayonnaise maker". Los Angeles Times. December 19, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  26. ^ Koren, Marina (August 25, 2015). "The FDA Says Eggless Mayo Isn't Real Mayo". The Atlantic. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  27. ^ a b "FDA: Vegan 'Just Mayo' Can't Call Itself Mayonnaise". Time. August 25, 2015. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  28. ^ "F.D.A. Allows Maker of Just Mayo to Keep Product's Name". The New York Times. December 17, 2015. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  29. ^ Carson, Biz (July 6, 2015). "The US egg shortage is good news for this startup that wants to replace eggs with plants". Business Insider. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  30. ^ Carson, Biz (August 5, 2015). "Sex, lies, and eggless mayonnaise: Something is rotten at food startup Hampton Creek, former employees say". Business Insider. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  31. ^ a b "Want to Make Enemies Fast? Try Inventing a Vegan Egg". WIRED. September 9, 2015. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  32. ^ Thielman, Sam (September 6, 2015). "US-appointed egg lobby paid food blogs and targeted chef to crush vegan startup". the Guardian. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  33. ^ Carson, Biz (September 3, 2015). "Eggless-mayo startup Hampton Creek claims government agencies are behind a mayo conspiracy". Business Insider. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  34. ^ "How Big Egg Tried To Bring Down Little 'Mayo' (And Failed)". NPR.org. September 3, 2015. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  35. ^ "The egg industry launched a secret two-year war against a vegan mayonnaise competitor". Los Angeles Times. October 7, 2016. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  36. ^ Thielman, Sam (October 23, 2015). "USDA scrambles to investigate egg lobby as CEO resigns". the Guardian. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  37. ^ Groden, Claire (October 23, 2015). "USDA Begins Investigation Into American Egg Board over Mayo Fight". Fortune. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  38. ^ "Agriculture Commodity Groups Want Exemption from USDA-Related FOIA Requests". Fortune. May 2, 2016. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  39. ^ a b Zaleski, Olivia (August 4, 2016). "Hampton Creek Ran Undercover Project to Buy Up Its Own Vegan Mayo". Bloomberg. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  40. ^ "Hampton Creek Faces SEC Inquiry Over Buying Its Own Product". Fortune. August 20, 2016. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  41. ^ Robinson, Matt; Zaleski, Olivia (August 19, 2016). "Hampton Creek's Mayo Buybacks Prompt Inquiry by the SEC". Bloomberg. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  42. ^ "SEC, DOJ Close Inquiries into Just Mayo Maker Hampton Creek". Fortune (in Kinyarwanda). March 24, 2017. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  43. ^ Shapiro, Paul (2018). Clean meat : how growing meat without animals will revolutionize dinner and the world. New York: Gallery Books. ISBN 978-1-5011-8908-1. OCLC 1020292851.
  44. ^ a b "Hampton Creek, Now a Unicorn, Shakes Up Management Team". Fortune (in Kinyarwanda). April 1, 2017. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  45. ^ "Target yanked Hampton Creek products after mysterious allegations. Vegans aren't happy". Los Angeles Times. June 28, 2017. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  46. ^ a b Zaleski, Olivia (June 22, 2017). "Target Begins Removing Hampton Creek's Products From Stores". Bloomberg. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  47. ^ Rushe, Dominic (June 5, 2017). "Food startup Hampton Creek fires three executives amid claims of planned coup". the Guardian. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  48. ^ "Hampton Creek's Board Has Split Leaving CEO Sole Member". Fortune. July 17, 2017. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  49. ^ Garfield, Leanna (July 17, 2017). "Hampton Creek's entire board - except the CEO - just quit". Business Insider Nederland (in Dutch). Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  50. ^ a b Mohan, Geoffrey (September 20, 2017). "Can you make meat without an animal? Hampton Creek is betting its future on it". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  51. ^ a b c Brodwin, Erin (June 25, 2018). "A fiery brand war between a Silicon Valley mayo startup and Jaden Smith's bottled water company is heating up - and one is alleging 'deceptions and misrepresentations'". Business Insider Nederland. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  52. ^ a b c Shanker, Deena (December 12, 2019). "Eggless Egg-Maker Buys First Plant in Bid to Crack Costs". Bloomberg. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  53. ^ Splitter, Jenny (September 2, 2020). "Eat Just Expands To 17,000 Grocery Stores As Interest In Plant-Based Food Grows". Forbes. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  54. ^ Naidu, Richa (August 19, 2020). "Exclusive: Plant-based egg maker JUST sees profit next year, then will look at IPO". U.S. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  55. ^ Shu, Catherine (October 20, 2020). "Eat Just partners with Proterra to launch a new subsidiary in Asia". TechCrunch. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  56. ^ "Plant-based egg producer Eat Just to build Singapore factory". Reuters. October 20, 2020. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  57. ^ Kowitt, Beth (December 18, 2014). "Food startup Hampton Creek raises $90 million in funding". Fortune. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  58. ^ Mui, Rachel (October 20, 2020). "Eat Just, Proterra Asia to invest up to US$120m on plant-based protein facility in Singapore". The Business Times. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  59. ^ Aubrey, Allison (June 13, 2013). "Why Bill Gates Is Investing In Chicken-Less Eggs". NPR.org. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  60. ^ Waxer, Cindy (November 26, 2013). "Fake meat is on the menu this Thanksgiving". CNNMoney. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  61. ^ "The egg comes first—no chicken necessary". CNBC. June 17, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  62. ^ Mirani, Leo. "You can now buy lab-made eggs to go with your lab-grown burgers". Quartz. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  63. ^ a b Kelly, Heather (November 1, 2017). "You can finally eat Hampton Creek's fake eggs". CNNMoney. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  64. ^ Anzilotti, Eillie (August 3, 2018). "Plant-based eggs are coming for your breakfast sandwiches". Fast Company. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  65. ^ "21. Eat JUST". CNBC. June 16, 2020. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  66. ^ Shanker, Deena (October 22, 2019). "These $50 Chicken Nuggets Were Grown in a Lab". Bloomberg. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  67. ^ a b Corbyn, Zoë (January 19, 2020). "Out of the lab and into your frying pan: the advance of cultured meat". the Guardian. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  68. ^ Peters, Adele (December 11, 2018). "The meat growing in this San Francisco lab will soon be available at restaurants". Fast Company. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  69. ^ Carrington, Damian (December 2, 2020). "No-kill, lab-grown meat to go on sale for first time". the Guardian. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  70. ^ "Singapore approves lab-grown 'chicken' meat". BBC. December 2, 2020. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  71. ^ Gilchrist, Karen (March 1, 2021). "This multibillion-dollar company is selling lab-grown chicken in a world-first". CNBC. Retrieved April 11, 2021.

External links[edit]