JUST Egg Grows 45% on College Campuses as School Year Begins

Students seek out plant-based foods to match eating habits to their values

As Gen Z college students head back to campus dining halls this fall, many will think about what they put on their trays as a symbol of their “health, values and political beliefs,” according to a new study from by Ketchum. While this can create pressure and even feelings of guilt, brands like JUST Egg are becoming more visible in campus eating establishments, giving students access to delicious plant-based foods and helping them feel better about their meal choices.

In the last year, JUST Egg has grown its college and university accounts by 45%, adding more than 40 new campuses since January alone. This means that a total of 120 higher ed institutions now offer delicious plant-based egg dishes for students to more easily match their beliefs with what’s on their plates.  When taste, value and affordability are major drivers of young people’s eating habits, college and university venues can be a catalyst for healthier, more sustainable eating as the fall semester begins.

Dining hall directors are utilizing JUST Egg all day long – from breakfast sandwiches and flatbreads to a protein boost in wraps, grain bowls, and salads to baked goods that use JUST Egg pourable as an ingredient. This range of options offers students flexibility regardless of whether they have an egg or soy allergy, avoid animal products altogether, or are simply striving to make better food choices for animals or the environment.

This trend extends beyond eggs to plant-based meats and dairy alternatives. In a unique study to look at the impact of this type of change, Sodexo found that making a plant-based option the default could result in more than 80% of students sticking with the plant-based option. For its part, Sodexo Campus aims to go 50% plant-based by 2025 and Aramark anticipates its residential dining menu offerings to be 44% plant-based by 2025.

Many schools have made public commitments to increase plant-based protein options by 2027 as part of Forward Food, a campaign run by the Humane Society of the United States. HSUS also helps educate and train campus foodservice operators how to cook plant-based foods. The organization has trained 1,800 campus foodservice professionals, created 200 recipes for colleges and universities and conducted 85 culinary trainings, workshops and takeovers.

While on-campus food offerings are top of mind at this time of year, the broader foodservice sector is experiencing a plant-based boom. JUST Egg’s foodservice business grew 15% in Q1 and 39% in Q2 and the Plant Based Food Association reports that nearly half of restaurants in the U.S. now offer plant-based menu options, a 62% increase from a decade ago (source).

Images corresponding with this topic can be found here, and a list of all campuses serving JUST Egg is available on our website.