76°
Sunny
MON
 76°
 56°
TUE
 80°
 59°
WED
 76°
 57°
THU
 72°
 53°
FRI
 74°
 52°

Food-tech startups aim to replace eggs, chicken

  • In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, CEO Josh Tetrick, left, watches as research and development chef Trevor Niekowal, right, makes a plant-based scrambled egg at Hampton Creek Foods in San Francisco. Can plants replace eggs? A San Francisco startup backed by Bill Gates believes they can. Hampton Creek Foods is scouring the planet for plants that can replace chicken eggs in everything from cookies to omelets to French toast. Funded by prominent Silicon Valley investors, the upstart seeks to disrupt a global egg industry that backers say wastes energy, pollutes the environment, causes disease outbreaks and confines chickens to tiny spaces. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

SAN FRANCISCO — The startup is housed in a garage-like space in San Francisco's tech-heavy South of Market neighborhood, but it isn't like most of its neighbors that develop software, websites and mobile-phone apps. Its mission is to find plant replacements for eggs.

Inside, research chefs bake cookies and cakes, whip up batches of flavored mayonnaise and pan-fry omelets and French toast — all without eggs.

Funded by prominent Silicon Valley investors and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Hampton Creek Foods seeks to disrupt a global egg industry that backers say wastes energy, pollutes the environment, causes disease outbreaks and confines chickens to tiny spaces.

The company, which just started selling its first product — Just Mayo mayonnaise — at Whole Foods Markets, is part of a new generation of so-called food-tech ventures that aim to change the way we eat.

"There's nothing to indicate that this will be a trend that will end anytime soon," said Anand Sanwal, CEO of CB Insights, a New York firm that tracks venture capital investment. "Sustainability and challenges to the food supply are pretty fundamental issues."


comments powered by Disqus
© The Press Democrat |  Terms of Service |  Privacy Policy |  Jobs With Us |  RSS |  Advertising |  Sonoma Media Investments |  Place an Ad
Switch to our Mobile View