San Francisco

Hampton Creek: Tech Food Startup

Silicon Valley is known for its tech startups, but is it ready for Hampton Creek, a food technology company coming up with more sustainable condiments and cookie dough?

Founder and chief executive Josh Tetrick things so, and is hoping his egg-free condiment Just Mayo and new cookie dough Just Cookies will catch on. "We want to make something better for one's body, make that food taste a lot better and make it a lot less expensive," he told Press:Here. "We've now done that for mayo, cookies and others things. . . . There are 400,000 plant species out there. We don't need to synthesize. We can just use what nature provided."

Already the San Francisco-based Hampton Creek has received $90 million in capital from Salesforce head Marc Benioff and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, among others, and can be found in such diverse places as Whole Foods and Dollar Tree. As for the company's investors, Tetrick is quoted by the Guardian as saying, "You're either going to make nothing or make a (expletive) ton."

By making mayo and cookie dough without eggs, Hampton Creek claims it's saved 1.5 billion gallons of water. According to Tetrick, each egg's cost is 70 percent feed, which boils down to the cost of land and water. Without using eggs, the costs -- both real and environmental -- go down.

As for questions about selling Hampton Creek, Tetrick said it's not happening. "If Unilever called me right after this and said we want to acquire you all for $2.5 billion . . . (even $5 billion) I would say that's not our path."

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