ALAMEDA, CA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Eat Just, Inc., a company that applies cutting-edge science and technology to the mission of creating healthier, more sustainable foods, today announced a $25 million investment and strategic partnership with private equity firm C2 Capital Partners (C2) . C2 was established in 2018 to provide growth capital and operational support for scaling companies in China. The main investor of the company is Alibaba Group.
This is C2’s first investment and partnership in the alternative protein sector and the relationship currently supports Eat Just’s go-to-market, sales, branding, consumer insights, recruitment and regulatory strategies in China.
Eat Just’s popular plant-based egg brand, JUST Egg, launched in China on e-commerce platforms such as Alibaba-owned Tmall.com in 2019 and has since grown its brand and business, primarily in Shanghai. GOOD Meat, which is real, high-quality meat produced from cells, has won regulatory approval and is being sold in Singapore, but the company has held preliminary talks with Chinese officials and is preparing to enter the United States market.
Today’s announcement follows the inclusion of Eat Just’s two main product categories – plant-based eggs and cultured meat – in China’s national food security project, part of the country’s comprehensive five-year plan, for the first time. China is the largest producer of eggs in the world, accounting for more than 30% of the global market, and is the largest consumer of meat on Earth, accounting for about 30% of this industry.
“We are grateful to partner with C2 to grow our business in China. Their unique market insights and know-how include logistics, branding, marketing omni-channel sales and distribution and last-mile delivery,” said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just.
“We are excited to support the mission of alternative protein pioneer Eat Just and accelerate the growth of their innovative products and technologies in China by leveraging the unique insights and resources of the C2/Alibaba ecosystem,” said C2 Managing Partner Steve Lin.
In addition to JUST Egg’s online sales in China, nearly 30 popular street vendors in Shanghai sell plant-based versions of jianbing, which is like a crepe and is one of the country’s most popular and convenient breakfast foods. The vendors, who sometimes sell thousands of JUST Egg jianbing per week, are listed in a specially designed WeChat mini program that allows users to gift JUST Egg jianbing coupons to their friends.
In addition, a custom-made JUST Egg caravan often appears at weekend markets around Shanghai, and in 2020 the company opened China’s first plant-based culinary studio, where chefs from some of the city’s top restaurants taught people how to cook delicious plant-based meals without sacrificing taste, nutritional value and quality.
About Eat Just, Inc.
Eat Just is a food technology company with a mission to build a healthier, safer and more sustainable food system throughout our lives. The company’s expertise, from functionalizing plant proteins to culturing animal cells, is powered by a world-class team of scientists and chefs spanning more than a dozen research disciplines. Eat Just created one of America’s fastest-growing egg brands that is made entirely from plants, and the world’s first marketed meat made from animal cells instead of slaughtered animals. The company has been recognized as one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies,” Entrepreneur’s “100 Brilliant Companies,” CNBC’s “Disruptor 50,” and a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer. The JUST Egg was named among Popular Science’s “100 Greatest Innovations” and Fast Company’s “World-Changing Ideas,” and GOOD Meat’s historic debut was named one of the best scientific discoveries of 2020 by The Guardian, Vox and WIRED.
For more information about JUST Egg, visit https://ju.st/newsroom.
For more information on GOOD Meat, visit http://goodmeat.co/newsroom.