Plant-based eggs, as seen on the Dicos menu
The move marks the first time a major quick-service restaurant has swapped an animal-based product with a plant-based one across multiple regular menu offerings, according to Eat Just. The changes will begin at 500 locations in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenyang, Dalian, Changchun, Harbin, and Hainan province. Menu items that will feature the new plant-based eggs include three breakfast burgers, three bagel sandwiches, and a “western” breakfast plate. While the plant-based egg is often paired with conventional meat, some of the menu items appear that they can be ordered without the meat or mayo for a fully plant-based dish.
Hash brown & plant-based egg sandwich [Credit: Eat Just, Inc.]
Doris Lee, General Manager of Shanghai-based GFI Consultancy, says that “Dicos’ bold move offers diners in China—the world’s largest consumer of eggs—a convenient opportunity to try plant-based eggs, which are delicious, healthier, and more sustainable. Global demand for plant-based foods is skyrocketing, so Dicos will have a head start in the race to capitalize on the booming alternative protein sector.”
Xie Yahui, Chief Marketing Officer for Dicos, declared that “The introduction of JUST Egg at Dicos is a product and brand upgrade based on consumers’ increasing interest in nutrition, healthier diets and environmental awareness. Adding JUST Egg to our core breakfast menu offerings will allow customers to experience JUST Egg in a variety of ways. We look forward to seeing the consumer response and will plan future menu offerings around it.”
This isn’t the first time that Dicos has prominently featured plant-based foods on their menu. Last November, the company rolled out a chicken burger made by Starfield—the most well-funded plant-based startup in China. It’s also significant that the new plant-based eggs are being offered in cities like Shenyang, which have not traditionally seen as many new product rollouts as Shanghai and other first-tier cities.
A Booming Industry in the World’s Largest Consumer Market
A groundbreaking study released last month by DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences predicted a 200 percent increase in demand for plant-based meat in China over the next five years. Plant-based eggs have not been as widely advertised as plant-based meat until now, but the Dicos menu additions may begin to change that.
This announcement also comes less than two months after Eat Just, Inc. revealed their plans to open a plant protein production facility in Singapore, in partnership with investment management firm Proterra, designed to serve the Asian market. At the time, Eat Just CEO Josh Tetrick said that “This partnership will further accelerate our path to become one of the world’s largest producers of eggs in the next decade.”
[Credit: Eat Just, Inc.]