Shelf Sweep - Alt-Egg Exploration #3
Japan has fewer than a dozen alt-egg innovations. And that means opportunities to fill cracks in the market.
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Happy Tuesday Market Shakers. Today we take a more detailed look at the egg alternatives available in Japan and where to find them.
As we found during our consumer research last week, awareness of egg alternatives is low in Japan. In line with this, our search uncovered a limited number of product examples - the majority of them sold online. We’ll introduce them below. And, to add more inspiration from retail, we also take a look at the case of JUST Egg in South Korea.
In today’s article
Where are alt-egg products available in Japan?
What kind of egg alternatives are available in Japan?
Introducing the main alt-egg products on offer
Comparison Case: JUST Egg in South Korea
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Where are alt-egg products available in Japan?
Egg alternatives are mainly available online in Japan. Kewpie’s plant-based scrambled egg, Hobotama is sold through Amazon Fresh. 2Foods scrambled egg/omelette products were sold at first on the crowdfunding platform Makuake, and now via the company’s online store. UMAMI UNITED’s powdered egg products are also sold via their company website and the recently launched online vegan supermarket, VCook Super. iHerb Japan offers Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer.
Kewpie and UMAMI UNITED also have B2B versions of their products. Foodservice is likely a bigger market for alt-eggs in Japan at the moment, especially now that tourists are returning. Food services and hotels will increasingly be interested in plant-based eggs for vegan-friendly breakfast menus, and vegan versions of traditional Japanese cuisine that contain eggs.
In physical stores, we found 2Food’s plant-based egg which is sold in several of their locations around Tokyo. 2Foods also have a plant-based omuraisu menu item in their restaurants.
There are several eggless mayonnaises available in Japan too. Large condiment makers such as Kewpie, Nisshin Oillio, SSK, and Ajinomoto all have brands. In place of eggs, these brands mainly use soy and vegetable oil bases. We found one to two brands in most of the large supermarkets we visited in Tokyo, such as AEON, Life and Maruetsu. These products are marketed as low-cholesterol alternatives to mayonnaise and target consumers with allergies and those who want to reduce egg intake.
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What kind of alt-egg products are available?
Japan’s alt-egg offerings currently focus on scrambled-type eggs. Kewpie and 2Foods both offer pre-made plant-based scrambled egg products. UMAMI UNITED’s powdered egg alternative is designed to be scrambled.
Kewpie’s Hobotama also comes in a liquid form. It’s designed to be used to make dishes such as omelettes. UMAMI UNITED have a powdered pudding mix product that can be used to make egg custards.
Marketing materials for plant-based egg products available in Japan emphasize the
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