Le Papondu, a female-led French startup producing plant-based egg alternatives, recently reported a tenfold increase in turnover between June 2022 and May 2023.
The company launched its first commercial product, an alternative to beaten eggs, last year. Since then, it has sold a quantity equivalent to over 30,000 chicken eggs, and has been named a “startup to follow” by LSA. Le Papondu now aims to surpass €1 million in annual turnover in 2025.
The startup is also currently raising funding, with the hope of securing €300,000 by the end of this month. Le Papondu previously received €30,000 from the French Tech grant last year, but further capital is needed now that the company has moved from laboratory to production scale. According to Maddyness, the funding will be used to accelerate production and increase the brand’s marketing and sales efforts.
Developed by biologists Philippine Soulères and Sheryline Thavisouk, Le Papondu’s first product is made from just six ingredients — fava bean flour, oil, water, salt, carrot, and methylcellulose. It can be used to make a range of dishes, including omelette, scrambled eggs, choux pastry, and cakes. The egg alternative is sold frozen and is entirely free of preservatives. Two-thirds of sales are currently made via wholesale platforms; the plant-based egg has seen success with caterers as it is free of common allergens.
Le Papondu is now hoping to enter the chilled sector by 2025, with research already underway to make this possible. Under its previous name, Les Merveilloeufs, the startup has also previously developed a prototype for a whole egg in a shell, reporting last year that it plans to eventually launch this product commercially.
According to Le Papondu, egg alternatives could eventually see even more success than meat alternatives.
“The plant-based egg will probably be more successful than plant-based meat because it is much more widely consumed around the world, and unlike meat which is primarily consumed as is, the egg is used in the composition of a multitude of recipes. The field of possibilities is much wider,” the founders told Maddyness.