The sale of plant-based alternatives, such as dairy and meat, is increasing on the world market and Perfeggt wants to do the same for the egg.
The Berlin-based foodtech company is poised to launch its chickenless egg product in the first quarter of 2022 in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Today, the company announced it has raised $2.8 million in its first round of funding to support its initial launch and expand further in Europe in 2022.
Supporters 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 was together with Gary Lin, the founder and CEO of EVIG, and Bernd Becker, who was the longtime head of R&D for Rügenwalder Mühle, a German co-founder of the company, which is part of Lovely Day Foods GmbH. vegetarian and vegan meat maker.
“I really believe we deserve better food,” Bogumil told TechCrunch. “My mother’s family has an agricultural 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 were not made properly. I didn’t quite understand what was happening there, but it didn’t feel right or humane.”
Unlike dairy, which is already sustainable, according to her, the egg is still largely unused. Sure, there are companies making similar plant-based alternatives, such as Simply Eggless and Just Eat, which raised $200 million earlier in the summer, but more than 1.3 trillion eggs are produced annually worldwide, meaning there’s room to grow, and applications are versatile, Bogumil said.
Perfeggt’s first plant-based egg product is a protein-rich liquid alternative made from fava beans. It can be prepared as scrambled eggs or omelet in the pan. The company will initially launch its product with food service organizations.
As with all foods, taste is king, and with this product the co-founders have worked to create a similar mouthfeel, sensory taste, flavors and textures – all elements Bogumil believes are necessary to get people to switch. to a vegetable equivalent.
“This is something we’ve spent time on,” she added. “Our product is built around the broad bean, which is well suited to mimic the functionality needed for these applications.”
To this end, Perfeggt’s R&D site in Emsland, Germany, works closely with Wageningen University & Research, known for its life sciences research, to test plant protein sources and their combinations that are closest to the nutritional and functional properties. of animal products.
The new funding will enable the company to expand its team at its headquarters and R&D facility. The company is currently looking for food scientists, marketing and R&D.
Meanwhile, Bogumil believes that more companies moving into the alternative space for eggs will help Perfeggt’s mission to switch people to plant-based foods.
“This is not a one-winner-takes-all market,” she said. “We have never seen alternative proteins so close to the mainstream market in history. You can clearly see that in the capital markets, not only for developing niche markets, but also for the future of food.”
“We are incredibly impressed with the team’s rapid technological progress in developing next-generation alternative proteins and finding solutions that improve human, planet and animal health,” added Stephanie Dorsey, founder of E2JDJ, in a written statement. “The egg market is a huge opportunity and this is just the beginning.”