Eggs are one of the hardest things people find giving up after cheese. So the team behind Crackd set out on a mission to develop a replacement that would create everything an egg could - even vegan Yorkshire puddings! We caught up with the team to find out how they ended up with their final product
What was the initial motivation behind developing Crackd?
We felt that the options currently out there weren’t delivering for the consumer, and as a result it was harder than it should be to replicate recipes that originally contained eggs.
The powders were hit and miss, and the other options could be good for one application but no good for others. We wanted to develop something versatile that delivered across the board (and most importantly made really good vegan Yorkshire puddings). So Crackd was the answer.
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Where did you start with the product development process? Why did you go for pea protein as the basis?
We sat down and tried to work out the scientific bit of exactly what happens when an egg cooks in various formats.
We then searched through everything we could find that could replicate bits of it. We then added all these up together and tried every single combination there was, before settling with our current Crackd recipe.
We eventually went with pea protein, and none of the other proteins are talking to us now.
We tried everything else we could find to try, and the simple truth is that if you need an allergen-free option, which we did, pea protein performs the best.
How long in total did it take you to get a product you were happy with?
It took us 4.5 years to get to where we are now. But we’re already looking at ways to improve it. We’re not stopping here.
What kind of reaction have you had from consumers to the launch of Crackd?
99.9% of people have been really supportive, excited, fanatical, positive about what we’re trying to do.
Look, we know it’s not perfect – but we would challenge you to find a better alternative out there with our versatility.
We have 15 times as many tags as we do posts on our Instagram page because everyone is sharing how best to use it. We need to up our game !
We just ask that when you give it a try first, use one of our recipes as it does perform slightly differently than an egg.
Persevere because we promise you it’s worth it!
What are the best ways you’ve found to raise awareness about your new product?
The guys at The Vegan Society have been amazingly supportive (big shout out to Louisianna W) and so have Veganuary (Zoe W). We’ve done some print advertising, and we recently did an OOH (out of home/outdoors) campaign, which was pretty cool.
Next month we’re going even bigger – watch this space.
Crackd is stocked in Selfridges&Co, WholeFoods and M&S – why did you target these chains rather than the more mainstream supermarkets?
Maybe it’s more that these companies were more receptive to the idea?
We’re landing in a mainstream supermarket this month, and we hope that more retailers will notice us, and the massive gap in their ranges, and drop us a line.
This vegan thing isn’t going away! Eggs are used in so many foods, and we believe we are the best alternative that there is on the market – so we’re scratching our heads too!
Maybe it’s because it’s a brand new category? We ready to go!
What barriers did you come up against when it came to launching a new vegan product such as Crackd?
We had some vegans accusing some of our early adopters of using eggs in their CRACKD Yorkshire puddings. Slander and lawyers were mentioned.
We need to get an up-to-date view on how many vegans, or people who are reducing their animal protein intake, there are in the UK.
We did some research with the Vegan Society, which suggested that 45% of UK consumers are in our target demographic.
But is that 600k people? 1 million people? 5 million people?
It really feels like the plant-based/vegan movement has started to take off but we want to know exact numbers!
Why did you decide to apply for the Vegan Trademark?
If you want to launch a vegan product, you have to apply for the Vegan Trademark, otherwise your product isn’t credible. (I mean, you don’t have to, but you want to have a long hard look at yourself if you don’t.)
How did you find the process of applying for the Vegan Trademark?
The process is thorough, but you want it to be thorough, or you run the risk of it not being credible.
Overall it was super smooth, and the comms were excellent.
So what’s next for Crackd?
We’re doing loads of collaborations on Instagram and we’ve got a really exciting collaboration launching in real life soon.
We’ve also got a bigger campaign happening soon. And there’s some other stuff we are pretty close to agreeing that we can’t wait to share.
We’re just perfecting our little pinkie in the corner of the mouth pose atm. We’ll get back to you.
Want to find out how more vegan products came to life? Start by discovering the history behind Pieminister’s vegan pies