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Startup Hampton Creek is now selling its plant-based egg products at Whole Foods in California. The company — which is a little over a year old and is backed by Khosla Ventures and Founders Fund — is based in San Francisco and we visited their food lab earlier this year.
Hampton Creek Food’s first product is a plant-based egg replacer for baked goods called Beyond Eggs, and the company has developed a plant-based mayonnaise, too. The likes of Bill Gates, who’s an investor in Khosla Ventures, and Tony Blair — who’s an advisor to Khosla Ventures — have taste tested Hampton Creek’s “Beyond Egg” muffins.
Hampton Creek Food’s CEO Josh Tetrick told me earlier this year that his team of engineers, chefs and science PhDs, have worked on over 344 prototypes for their egg-yolk product, and have studied 287 types of plants that range from peas and canola. Tetrick is a do-gooder entrepreneur who tells me that “the food industry is broken.”
Tetrik told me that Beyond Eggs will be 19 percent cheaper than eggs, will last longer on the shelf than eggs, is safer to use than eggs, and is better for you than eggs. There’s also all of the feel-good aspects of the product: the poor environmental and inhumane conditions of the egg industry, and the reduced carbon emissions by decreasing the amount of feed (mostly corn and soy) that goes to chickens.
But all of those won’t matter if the products don’t pass Tetrick’s “Dad Twinkie” test, the goal of which is to deliver a twinkie that’s cheaper and better for you, but that tastes exactly the same. Hampton Creek Foods is just one of a new type of eco-food innovator that is being incubated in Silicon Valley.