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Crafty Counter, a Texan startup known for its plant-based Wunder Nuggets, has debuted what it claims to be the world’s first 100% plant-based hard-boiled egg. The alternative, WunderEggs, which cooks, looks and tastes like a real chicken egg, is set to launch on the market before the end of 2021.
Austin-based startup Crafty Counter is set to launch WunderEggs, the world’s first 100% plant-based hard-boiled egg alternative. Made from whole food plant ingredients, the analogue is free from soy, gluten and grains and instead uses a protein base of nuts, primarily from almonds and cashews, along with coconut milk, turmeric and black salt.
The company says that it has been developed through a “proprietary process” to mimic the taste, texture and sensorial experience of real hard-boiled chicken eggs.
‘No more missing out on a breakfast favorite’
According to Crafty Counter founder and CEO Hema Reddy, the idea for the brand’s newest product came during the pandemic, when it became increasingly clear the damage that factory farms were having in fuelling not just climate change, but rising zoonotic diseases too.
Every year, 50 billion chickens, mainly male chicks, are slaughtered for food, while hens are sent to suffer on average for 34 hours for each factory-farmed egg they produce. Globally, 95% of all conventional eggs are produced in factory farms, where hens are confined in battery cages.
“My inspiration for WunderEggs came during the first two weeks of Covid when our country’s food systems began to break down. I was already aware of the impact of intensive factory farming on climate change and the pandemic was just the last straw for me,” Reddy shared.
“We are so excited to bring this vegan revolution to all the plant-based food lovers that haven’t eaten a boiled egg in a long time. They no longer have to miss out on a breakfast or snack favorite.”
Whole food plant-based vegan egg
Crafty Counter says that they have chosen to use whole food plant-based ingredients as much as possible, catering to the growing swathes of health-conscious consumers who are propelling the clean label movement.
“The climate and ethical implications of consuming animal products have many people seeking alternatives, but we don’t want highly processed analogs,” said Angela McElwee, former CEO of Gaia Herbs, who was invited to sample the new WunderEggs as part of Crafty Counter’s R&D process.
“We want real, nutritious foods. WunderEggs taste just like hard-boiled eggs, but they are made with whole food plant-based ingredients.”
WunderEggs, which is set to launch on the market before the end of 2021, will add to Crafty Counter’s existing vegan range, which includes 3 flavours of plant-based Wunder Nuggets made from legumes, seeds and vegetables, such as chickpeas, lentils, chia seeds, cabbage and carrots.
Vegan egg market
While the entire plant-based retail industry has experienced major growth in the past year, with U.S. sales reaching an all-time high of $7 billion in 2020, the vegan egg category is one poised for rapid growth. Within the country, the plant-based eggs category saw sales grow over 168% year-on-year.
Aside from pioneer brand Eat Just, who launched its mung bean-based JUST Egg back in 2013, more startups are now entering the space, from Singapore’s Float Foods, which is Asia’s first commercial plant-based whole egg replacement featuring a distinctive egg yolk and whites, to the recent announcement by Canada’s Nabati Foods that it will soon launch a lupin bean-based liquid egg.
All images courtesy of Crafty Counter.