Sales of plant-based alternatives, like dairy and meat, are booming in the global market, and Perfeggt wants to do the same for the egg.
The Berlin-based food technology company is set to launch its chicken-free egg product in the first quarter of 2022 in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Today, the company announced that it has raised $ 2.8 million in its first round of funding to help with the initial launch and then expand further into Europe later in 2022.
Funders in the round include EVIG Group, Stray Dog Capital, E2JDJ, Tet Ventures, Good Seed Ventures, Sustainable Food Ventures and Shio Capital.
Perfeggt CEO Tanja Bogumil co-founded the company, which is part of Lovely Day Foods GmbH, earlier this year with Gary Lin, founder and CEO of EVIG, and Bernd Becker, who has long been responsible for R&D for Rügenwalder Mühle, a German manufacturer of vegetarian and vegan meat.
“I really believe we deserve better food,” Bogumil told TechCrunch. “My mother’s family comes from a farming background in small-scale farming, so I’ve always been aware of where the food we eat comes from. I became a vegetarian when I was 12 when my uncle took me to a slaughterhouse to show me that the sausages I was eating weren’t made the right way. I didn’t fully understand what was going on there, but it didn’t feel right or human. “
Unlike dairy, where there is already sustainability, she believes the egg is still largely untapped. Of course, there are companies that make similar herbal alternatives, like Simply Eggless and Just Eat, which raised $ 200 million earlier this summer, but globally, over 1.3 trillion eggs are produced every year, which means there is room to grow, and the applications are versatile, Bogumil said.
Perfeggt’s first plant-based egg product is a protein-rich liquid alternative made from beans. It can be prepared as a scrambled egg or an omelet in the pan. The company will first market its product to food service organizations.
As with all foods, taste is king, and with this product the co-founders worked to create similar mouthfeel, sensations, flavors and textures – all of which, according to Bogumil, are necessary for get people to switch to a herbal equivalent.
“It’s something we’ve spent time figuring out,” she added. “Our product is built around the bean, which is very suitable for mimicking the functionality required for these applications. “
To do this, Perfeggt’s R&D site in Emsland, Germany is working closely with Wageningen University & Research, known for its life science research, to test the sources of plant proteins and their closest combinations. nutritional and functional properties of products of animal origin.
The new funding allows the company to strengthen its team at its head office and its R&D center. The company is currently recruiting scientists in food, marketing and R&D.
Meanwhile, Bogumil believes more companies entering the alternative egg space will help Perfeggt’s mission to steer people toward plant-based foods.
“It’s not a one-winner market,” she said. “We have never seen in the history of alternative proteins come so close to the mainstream market. This is clearly reflected in the capital markets, and not just for the development of niche markets, but for the future of food. “
“We are incredibly impressed with the team’s rapid technological advancements in developing next-generation alternative proteins and finding solutions that improve human, planetary and animal health,” added Stephanie Dorsey, founding partner of E2JDJ, in a written statement. “The egg market is a huge opportunity and it’s just the start.”