Yo! Egg's Unique Plant-Based Fried Egg Is Hatching Global Demand - Alt-Egg Exploration #6
Sunny side up, up and away for the world's first plant-based fried egg.
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Happy Tuesday Market Shakers. Last week we heard from a startup from the world-leading Food Tech hub, Singapore. Today, we visit another such hub as we interview the co-founder of Yo! Egg, an alt-egg maker based in Israel.
In this post, you’ll learn about how Yo! Egg is winning people over with its unique offering, its strategic approach to sales channels, and how they leveraged community to grow.
How Yo! Egg Was Hatched
Yosefa Ben Cohen, Co-Founder of Yo! Egg is a chef and restauranteur by trade. Before founding one of the world’s most promising plant-based egg startups, she enjoyed success owning and operating restaurant chains with her husband.
20 years into her career, she made the decision to go vegan. At this point, Yosefa was forced to re-learn her art. How to cook without the trusted tools to make any good dish great, like cheese, butter, and cream.
After remastering her craft, Yosefa decided to use it to help promote the joy of plant-based cuisine to consumers both vegan and non. She worked as a menu designer, helping restaurants add vegan and plant-based items to their menu.
One of Israel’s most popular American diners called and requested Yosefa to make a vegan sunny-side-up egg for their menus. At the time, there were no plant-based egg offerings on the market that looked and tasted like fried eggs. Yosefa crafted an egg using tofu for the white and pumpkin for the yolk. The restaurant loved it and so did its customers.
So much so that the phone was ringing off the hook with calls from other restaurants asking Yosefa to provide them with her vegan egg. Not the recipe, but the egg itself.
Yo! Egg’s Eggvolution
Yo! Egg was founded in 2019. The company claims to have created the world’s first plant-based fried and poached eggs. While there are now many plant-based eggs on the market, most are powdered-type and made for scrambling. Few offer a fried or poached-egg experience like Yo! Egg.
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Yo! Egg’s quality has earned it a place on the canteen menus at Google and Facebook in Israel. Many local restaurants also favour Yo! Egg as their plant-based egg of choice.
Yosefa explains that Yo! Egg is targeting food services as its primary customers. Not only is there demand, but she believes this is the best way to deliver on Yo! Egg’s mission of introducing the delights of plant-based food to consumers in general.
Yo! Egg has already established a production facility in Israel to serve its local market. In 2022 it raised $5 million in an oversubscribed seed round to build a production facility in the United States where it is currently expanding. Yo! Egg’s eventual aim for the facility is to produce 50,000 eggs per day.
These numbers and the company’s tangible results to date are impressive. They speak to an exceptional product.
The Right Environment for Egg Innovation
In addition to Yo! Egg's proprietary recipe and production processes, Yosefa also credits Israel’s startup community for its impressive growth.
Israel is a world leader in innovation, including Food Tech. The nation is home to almost 100 unicorns. For Food Tech, Israel ranks second in terms of investment.
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When Yosefa first began exploring how to scale the production of her product, the community helped her find the answer.
Being able to partner with and develop relationships with restaurants in Israel has also enabled Yo! Egg to rapidly get feedback on its product and develop its quality.
A small tight-knit community of startups and businesses makes Israel an ideal laboratory to develop quality products. When startups inevitably look to grow their business and brand, they venture abroad with tried and tested offerings.
Taking Flight, Yo! Egg is Bound For The States
Yo! Egg is sold in several major restaurants and chains in Israel. The market, however, is small and it’s natural for startups to look overseas to grow.
Yo! Egg picked the U.S. as its first target.
Yosefa is confident that Yo! Egg can capitalize on the opportunities in the states.
What Next for Yo! Egg?
Yo! Egg is also open to investment in the U.S.
Yo! Egg may be ready to fly the coop soon too. According to Yosefa, several companies in Europe, South Korea and also Japan have reached out showing interest in Yo! Egg.
For now, Yo! Egg is focused on food service. To break into retail, Yosefa is conscious that it will need to ensure its products can match the nutritional value of regular eggs.
Given the company's success so far and the growth rate of the alt-egg category, Yo! Egg looks set to land on food service menus around the world throughout the 2020s.
That’s all folks
Thank you for joining us as we uncovered the story of this week’s alt-protein innovator.
We would like to say a huge thank you to Yosefa and the team at Yo! Egg for supporting this interview.
See you next Tuesday for the final chapter in our Alt-Egg Exploration series.
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