SAN FRANCISCO — Eat Just, Inc., a company that applies cutting-edge science and technology to create healthier, more sustainable foods, announced March 23 that it has secured $200 million in a new funding round led by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar; joined by private investment firm Charlesbank Capital Partners and Vulcan Capital, the investment arm of the estate of Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen.
The food tech startup, which has raised more than $650 million since its founding in 2011, will add QIA and Charlesbank to its Board of Directors. BofA Securities, Inc., acted as lead placement agent and ABG, LLC, advised on the investment that will be used to build capacity for Eat Just’s pioneering products; accelerate research and development programs and build its brands in key international markets.
“We are very excited to work with our investors to build a healthier, safer and more sustainable food system. Their knowledge and experience partnering with companies that are transforming numerous industries were fundamental in our decision to partner with them,” said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just.
Accelerating America’s Fastest-Growing Egg Brand
Last year was a big one for Eat Just’s award-winning JUST Egg and 2021 promises to be even bigger for America’s fastest growing egg brand. Already in more than 20,000 retail points of distribution and 1,000 foodservice locations, the company is poised to bring its refrigerated and frozen formats to millions more around the globe. To date, Eat Just has sold the plant-based equivalent of 100 million eggs and one million U.S. households have made JUST Egg #1 in loyalty within branded eggs.
The first months of 2021 brought record-breaking retail sales for JUST Egg’s 12-ounce pourable format that is perfect for scrambles, omelets, quiches, stir-fries and baking applications. JUST Egg’s fluffy, pre-baked folded format, which is ideal on top of toast or in a breakfast sandwich, has flown off shelves since its April 2020 debut. It quickly became the #1 selling frozen breakfast item at a top five U.S. supermarket and the #1 frozen breakfast entrée in the natural channel.3
Exponential Retail & Foodservice Growth Potential
Earlier this year, Dicos, one of China’s leading fast-food chains, added JUST Egg to its menu marking the first time a major quick service restaurant swapped an animal-based product with a plant-based one across multiple regular menu offerings. Eat Just also announced a partnership to manufacture JUST Egg Sous Vide products as part of an agreement with Cuisine Solutions, Inc., the world's leading manufacturer and distributor of sous vide foods.
In March, Peet's Coffee partnered with Eat Just on the nationwide launch of a new JUST Egg sandwich featuring all plant-based ingredients. The Everything Plant-Based Breakfast Sandwich has already far exceeded Peet’s initial forecast. Canada also became the latest country in JUST Egg’s expansion with news that its folded product would be stocked in more than 1,000 grocery stores by April and would be widely available to restaurants and other foodservice operators.
Building a Multi-Billion Dollar Business for GOOD Meat
Eat Just celebrated another important milestone in late 2020 by securing the first-in-the-world regulatory approval for real, high-quality meat created directly from animal cells for human consumption and weeks later made history when its GOOD Meat-branded cultured chicken was served and sold to guests for the first time at a restaurant. These breakthroughs for the global food system were heralded as the beginning of a new food revolution by top industry executives, world-renowned scientists and academics, leading media organizations and others.
In the months and years ahead, the company will continue its leadership in the field by dramatically reducing cultured meat production costs; scaling commercial manufacturing operations; and advancing its work on other types of meat. Cultured meat could become a $13 billion market by 2030 and GOOD Meat Cultured Chicken is on a path to price competitiveness with conventional chicken by that time, according to modeling conducted in February by a leading management consulting firm retained by Eat Just.