Michigan State will become the second university in the Midwest to introduce JUST vegan food products to their campus dining halls, starting with the JUST egg. The new option will be introduced to students fall 2019.
A part of JUST’s mission is to do “everything they possibly can” to establish a “fair, honest and just food system” in every community, according to their website.
JUST partnered with MSU to bring the JUST egg to campus, an egg-free, dairy-free and cholesterol-free alternative to chicken eggs containing no artificial flavors. It is made from the mung bean.
Jenna Cameron, regional sales director at JUST, spoke about how the partnership with MSU began.
“MSU reached out to me directly and asked me (if they) could get a sample of meat,” Cameron said. “I responded and said, ‘We’re not ready putting that product on the market yet, but were getting close. However, we have a great JUST Egg you guys can check out.’ They were very interested with the samples, and brought (it) in to test immediately.”
Cameron said the meat MSU was interested in sampling is made from animal cells, isolated from the animal in a safe way and grown in clean environments. This JUST product will be released later in the year, and Cameron said it will be advertised as being produced by one of the first food companies to make real animal meat without harming the animal.
JUST products are nutritious and made by Michelin-starred chefs, Cameron said. They are also non-GMO, protein-packed and plant-based.
“We’re certainly a mission driven company,” Cameron said. “Every employee who’s assigned to being on the partnership team I would say embodies the mission ... to make (it) easier for everyone to eat well. That is using delicious, sustainable ingredients — and we do that through plants.”
Once the JUST Egg hits campus, students can expect breakfast and brunch meals incorporating the product, from scrambled eggs to sandwiches and omelettes. Cameron said the egg substitute is great for vegans and vegetarians.
The company has sold the equivalent of five million chicken eggs in the past six months, Cameron said. Grocery stores such as Whole Foods, Hy-vee, Fresh Store and Sprouts are among those selling the product.
“I see the demand all over the market. Especially in the college university segment, it’s very high,” Cameron said. “We hear from students every day ... reaching out to us proactively saying, ‘How can I get this amazing product on my campus?’”
JUST Egg has been featured in a TIME Magazine article calling it one of the top 10 “smart sustainable products” of 2018. It was also featured in a Buzzfeed review.
“We’ve been a company since 2011, we got our first product into Whole Foods in 2013,” Cameron said. “Our first, flagship product is called JUST mayo. Now, we have expanded.”
Editor's Note: This article was updated on April 11 at 1:58 p.m. to clarify that JUST sold the equivalent of five million chicken eggs in the past six months, that Cameron said JUST mayo was their flagship product, not makeshift and that their products are all plant-based.
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