Domestic food company Hoow Foods announced last week (August 3rd) that it has launched a plant-based subsidiary Hegg Foods following a recent $ 3 million fundraiser in the pre-Serie A round led by Singapore-based entrepreneurial company Farquhar VC.
According to the company, Hegg Foods focuses on developing new sustainable food products that meet growing consumer demands for healthier plant alternatives that are environmentally friendly.
In line with that vision, Hegg Foods will launch a new brand of healthy plant-based eggs called HEGG, marking its first entry into the consumer market.
Entering the alternate protein space
A panicked purchase during the state closure last year prompted the government to step up and convince Singaporeans that the country is not in danger of running out of basic food supplies.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to raise the issue of Singapore’s food security. In response, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has set a goal to produce 30 percent of national food by 2030, also known as the “30 by 30” goal.
Hegg Foods CEO Ow Yau Png explains that Hegg Foods is particularly “focused on solving the problem of ensuring resilience to food supply for one of the most affordable and widely available sources of protein (chicken eggs).”
He added that Singaporeans consume more than five million eggs a day, but local production can meet only less than 27 percent of needs.
Hegg Foods plans to feed a growing local and regional population in a healthy but sustainable way by leveraging an alternative protein space.
As a new alternative to plant-based eggs, it would allow Singapore to diversify its supply and availability of common and affordable protein sources.
On the other hand, peeled hen eggs, although cheap and readily available, have a variety of health and environmental consequences.
According to Yau Png, 20 percent of fresh food in Singapore is damaged or spoiled before it arrives, and much food is discarded due to food safety concerns.
Therefore, plant-based dietary alternatives, such as HEGG, can help improve air quality and animal health and welfare by reducing more intensive livestock farming.
You can buy their vegetable eggs as early as 2022
To produce eggs of plant origin, Hegg Foods relies on Hoow Foods ’proprietary artificial intelligence food and ingredients (AI) platform, RE-GENESYS, which uses ingredient informatics to develop food products.
Manufactured in Singapore, HEGG consists of a combination of herbal legumes and ingredients.
Nutritionally, one serving of HEGG has a protein content almost identical to that of a normal-sized chicken egg. However, this herbal alternative to eggs not only contains significantly less fat, but is also free of cholesterol, dairy products, gluten and soy, with no added preservatives.
Blended in powder form, HEGG favors practicality and longevity.
Hegg Foods has taken into account various useful functions to simplify production and logistics. For example, HEGG in powder form allows easy scaling of production. Product delivery is also easier because HEGG does not require refrigeration and has a relatively longer shelf life.
Not only is HEGG versatile in a variety of culinary applications, but it is also very durable on powder shelves. These factors distinguish HEGG from other plant egg products available on the market, including Only Float Foods Eg, Hard boiled egg OsomeFood on plant basis, and Eat only an egg.
The company’s research and development team is constantly finding new ways to improve the versatility of HEGG, which can be used in Western-style kitchens, such as scrambled eggs and omelets. Furthermore, its easy application in Asian-style kitchens can allow HEGG to be widely accepted throughout Asia.
Hegg Foods is currently planning its pilot production and working on the commercialization of HEGG.
For starters, it intends to work with selected F&B partners and caterers to introduce HEGG to their selected menus. The company also hopes that by next year, HEGG will be “B2C ready” and stored on supermarket shelves and e-commerce websites.
What will consumers need to switch to vegetable eggs?
With strong aspirations to increase and set up the facility in full swing in Singapore over the next two years, HEGG is well on its way to reducing the state’s dependence on egg imports by 20 percent over the next five years.
Plant-based diets are becoming increasingly popular globally, with issues such as climate change and attention. Moreover, amid global reports that food allergies, including egg allergies, are on the rise, plant-based eggs could actually be more common in the near future.
And in multi-religious, multicultural Singapore, eggs of plant origin could have a strong foothold in some communities due to dietary restrictions in some religions. For example, some religions like Jain and Buddhism do not eat eggs.
For HEGG to be widely available, consumers must consider the change economically reasonable. If the price of vegetable eggs is compared to hen’s eggs, it would be more encouraged to change for more altruistic reasons, either ethical or environmental.
Yau Png said that with their experience with other F&B products, such as coffee and tea with the Killiney brand and Callery ice cream, and the final economies of scale, he was convinced that they would eventually be able to “competitively appreciate HEGG for chicken eggs”.
For now, eggs of plant origin are not easily available in local supermarkets, except for vegan substitutes for baking. With this gap, it is likely that eggs from the plant world would take off in Singapore, in the same way vegetable meat like Beyond, Impossible and Quorn.
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Highlight Credit: Hegg Foods