Need a little help waking up? Caribou Coffee just unveiled its first-ever vegan breakfast sandwich designed for plant-based early birds. Partnering with Eat Just, Caribou Coffee will offer the JUST Egg Roasted Tomato & Pesto Flatbread for a limited time nationwide. The major coffee shop and Panera Brands offshoot will roll out the new sandwich at approximately 400 Caribou coffeehouses in the United States starting on May 5.

“Caribou’s food menu includes gluten-free and vegetarian menu items today, and with an increased demand in the marketplace for plant-based options, we knew we wanted to provide a great-tasting option for our guests,” Vice President of Merchandising and Product at Caribou Coffee Matt Reiter said. “To finally have a delicious and versatile vegan option on our menu showcases our commitment to providing quality products that are not only better for your health, but for the planet. This sandwich is a delicious option for all guests, whether they follow a plant-based diet or not.”

The new plant-based breakfast item will feature JUST Egg’s signature folded egg alternative topped with roasted tomatoes and dairy-free pesto. With this release, Caribou will become the largest coffeehouse to offer JUST’s Egg’s plant-based egg. The sandwich will also feature Violife’s dairy-free smoked provolone cheese, distinguishing it from other major chains’ meatless sandwiches. The fully plant-based menu item will be served on a warm folded flatbread.

JUST Egg Takes Over Breakfast

Founded in 2011, Eat Just’s JUST Egg is the fastest-growing plant-based egg, providing an innovative alternative to conventional chicken eggs. JUST Egg uses 98 percent less water, requires 83 percent less land, and emits 93 percent fewer greenhouse gases than chicken eggs.

"It's an absolute honor to collaborate with Caribou Coffee for their first entirely plant-based product," Chief Revenue Officer at Eat Just Matt Riley said. "Caribou Coffee's wide reach and commitment to sustainability made them a natural fit for a partnership. We've seen our partners across the industry gain an immense amount of support for their contributions to the next wave of plant-centric options, and we have no doubt that Caribou guests will enjoy this savory flatbread sandwich made with ingredients that are better for the environment."

Caribou is Eat Just’s most expansive coffeehouse release, but not the company’s first. Last year, JUST Egg teamed up with PLNT Burger to develop a fully plant-based sandwich, featuring Beyond Meat’s Breakfast Sausage and Follow Your Heart’s American Cheese. PLNT Burger’s chef Spike Mendelsohn claimed that a vegan breakfast sandwich gives him the proper motivation to “get up and seize the day.”

JUST Egg is capitalizing on the shift in consumer interest toward sustainable foods, and more specifically, on a soaring egg alternative industry. The vegan egg market is expected to exceed $3.3 billion by 2031, growing at approximately an 8.3 percent CAGR. Market research company Fact.MR listed Just Egg as the leading brand for plant-based liquid egg replacements.

Coffee Shops Strive for Sustainability

Caribou joins a growing list of major coffee companies that have shifted to sustainable plant-based options. Both Dunkin’ and Starbucks have made significant pushes toward plant-based menu offerings and improvements to eco-friendly standards. The two major corporations have released meatless breakfast sandwiches with Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods respectively, but have yet to debut fully plant-based options.

Last year, Starbucks launched a Greener Stores campaign to test new plant-based options, aiming to open 10,000 environmentally-conscious stores by 2025. The Greener Store menus will provide a 50 percent plant-based menu as the company begins to experiment with sustainable food options. Despite that, the company still charges its U.S. customers a surcharge for vegan milk. In Chile, the Greener Stores offer a vegan beef sandwich with plant-based meat and mayo from The Not Company, but no developments within the U.S.

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