Hampton Creek Foods Ready to Take on Egg Industry

Bill Gates, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Vinod Khosla’s Khosla Ventures and environment-friendly billionaire Tom Steyer are all investors in the San Francisco startup.

Hampton Creek Foods, makers of a plant-based mayonnaise and plant-based technology with some impressive financial backing, is trying to cash in on its multibillion-dollar opportunity to make the egg obsolete, replacing it with a plant-based formula that is cheaper, cholesterol-free and more humane. As this article from Forbes it’s Silicon Valley  points out, it's Silicon Valley solutionism at its finest, focusing entrepreneurial flair and science on an industry not known for innovation.

“Food to me is broken for a lot of reasons, but the best sort of manifestation of that is the world of intensive animal agriculture,” says the 33-year-old Hampton CEO Josh Tetrick. With a slight southern drawl, he speaks with a particular distaste for the egg industry, notorious for caging and force-feeding beakless chickens and burning through resources.

What helps to sell the company to big-name investors is their focus on their environmental stewardship, as much as on economics. The ratio of energy input to food energy output for chicken-laid eggs is about 39-to-1, behind only beef and lamb farming. Hampton Creek’s plant products maintain a ratio of 2-to-1. That translates into direct cost savings: Its egg equivalents cost 39 cents a pound–almost half of its chicken-begat counterpart. As for the mayonnaise, the final product, mixed with lemon juice, vinegar and other ingredients, costs Whole Foods 10% less than regular mayo. 

“Hampton Creek is taking on an entrenched industry that has been doing business the same way for years. The company has a core technology that is fundamentally more affordable,” says investor Vinod Khosla. To read more, click HERE.