A video posted by the Australian restaurant Crux on TikTok last month shows something you’d expect from any influencer filming their Sunday brunch: A knife slowly breaks an egg—blanketed in hollandaise, as any good eggs Benedict is—until golden yolk oozes out. But appearances are deceiving, and as the text overlaid onto the clip makes clear: Yes, it’s vegan. And yes, it pops.
For vegans, lacto-vegetarians, and anyone else cutting their egg consumption, there have long been many ways to replace the functions of the egg. Flax seeds, chia seeds, bananas, applesauce, and starch blends like Ener-G Egg Replacer perform the binding tasks that eggs do so well—a guide to which can be found in Taste. Tofu can be scrambled, and chickpea flour can be cooked into a thin, omelette-esque sheet. Other commercial egg replacer options are on the rise as veganism sees an exciting heyday.
Follow Your Heart, the 50-year-old leader in the plant-based space, launched a substitute intended for scrambles in 2015. Vegg sells egg replacer products including a powder meant to simulate the taste and texture of egg yolks in dishes like French toast. The juggernaut is JUST Egg, whose mung bean-based liquid that scrambles like real eggs, hit the United States in 2018. By March of this year, when JUST received a $200 million investment backed by the Qatar Investment Authority, the company had sold the equivalent of 100 million chicken eggs. Chicken eggs remain big business: In 2019, Americans were eating about 279 eggs per person per year—the highest egg consumption in almost 50 years, the Washington Post reported.