Hoow Foods, a local food technology company, announced last week (August 3) that it has launched a Hege Food In the recent A round of financing led by Singapore venture capital firm Farquhar VC, S$3 million was raised.
According to the company, Hegg Foods is focused on developing new sustainable foods to meet consumers’ growing demand for healthier, environmentally friendly plant-based alternatives.
According to this vision, Hegg Foods will launch a new healthy vegetable egg brand called HEGG, which marks its first entry into the consumer market.
Enter the alternative protein space
Panic buying during the national blockade last year prompted the government to step up and assure Singaporeans that the country will not face the risk of a shortage of basic food supplies.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic still exposed Singapore’s food security issues.In response, the Singapore Food Authority (SFA) set a goal Produce 30% of the country’s food by 2030, Also known as the “30 by 30” goal.
Ow Yau Png, CEO of Hegg Foods, explained that Hegg Foods is particularly “eager to solve the problem of ensuring the elasticity of the food supply because it is one of the most affordable and widely available protein sources (eggs).”
He added that Singaporeans consume more than 5 million eggs a day, but local production can only meet less than 27% of the demand.
Hegg Foods plans to feed the growing local and regional population in a healthy and sustainable way by developing alternative protein spaces.
As a new plant-based egg substitute, it will enable Singapore to diversify the supply and availability of its common and affordable protein sources.
On the other hand, although shelled eggs are cheap and easy to obtain, they have various health and environmental impacts.
According to Yau Png, 20% of fresh food in Singapore is damaged or spoiled even before it arrives, and many foods are discarded due to food safety issues.
Therefore, due to the reduction of intensive animal husbandry, plant-based food substitutes like HEGG can help improve air quality and animal health and welfare.
You can buy their plant-based eggs as early as 2022
To produce plant-based eggs, Hegg Foods utilizes Hoow Foods’ proprietary food and ingredient artificial intelligence (AI) platform RE-GENESYS, which uses ingredient informatics to develop foods.
HEGG is made in Singapore and is a combination of plant-based beans and ingredients.
Nutritionally speaking, the protein content of a serving of HEGG is almost the same as that of ordinary eggs. However, this plant-based egg substitute is not only much lower in fat, but also contains no cholesterol, dairy products, gluten, soy, and no added preservatives.
HEGG is mixed in powder form, giving priority to convenience and long shelf life.
Hegg Foods has considered various useful functions to simplify production and logistics. For example, the powdered HEGG can easily expand the manufacturing scale. It is also easier to transport products because HEGG does not require refrigeration and has a relatively long shelf life.
HEGG is not only suitable for various cooking applications, but its powder form is also very stable.These factors distinguish HEGG from other plant-based egg products available on the market, including Float Foods’ OnlyEg, OsomeFood’s plant-based boiled eggs, and Only eat eggs.
The company’s R&D team is constantly looking for new ways to improve the versatility of HEGG, which can be used in Western dishes such as scrambled eggs and fried eggs. In addition, its simple application in Asian-style cuisine can make HEGG widely adopted throughout Asia.
Hegg Foods is currently planning a pilot scale production and is committed to commercializing HEGG.
First, it intends to work with selected catering partners and catering suppliers to introduce HEGG into their selected menus. The company also hopes that by next year, HEGG will be “ready for B2C” and put it on the shelves of supermarkets and e-commerce sites.
What does it take for consumers to switch to plant-based eggs?
With a strong desire to expand its scale and establish a comprehensive facility in Singapore in the next two years, HEGG is working to reduce the country’s dependence on egg imports by 20% in the next five years.
As climate change and other issues have become the focus of attention, plant-based diets are becoming more and more popular around the world. In addition, there are reports around the world that food allergies, including egg allergies, are on the rise, and plant-based eggs may actually become more common in the near future.
In a multi-religious and multi-cultural Singapore, plant-based eggs may have a strong foothold in certain communities due to dietary restrictions of certain religions. For example, some religions such as Jainism and Buddhism do not eat eggs.
In order for HEGG to be widely used, consumers must find that the conversion is economically reasonable. If the price of plant-based eggs is comparable to that of eggs, they will be more motivated to switch for more altruistic reasons, whether it is ethical or environmental.
Yau Png said that with their experience in other food and beverage products, such as Killiney brand coffee and tea and Callery ice cream, as well as the final economies of scale, he believes that they will eventually be able to “price HEGG as eggs at a competitive price.”
At present, in addition to vegan egg substitutes for baking, it is not easy to buy plant-based eggs in local supermarkets.With this gap, plant-based eggs are likely to take off in Singapore, just like Plant-based meat Just like Beyond, Impossible and Quorn.
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Featured image source: Hegg Foods