Egglife Foods has been a disruptor in modern healthy nutrition by leveraging technology to develop products that replace flour with egg, creating low-carb, low-calorie, protein-packed and gluten-free alternatives without sacrificing taste.
Utilizing a patented method for transforming cage-free egg whites into a tortilla style wrap, the company has developed a line of simple, delicious and fresh foods that are high in protein, but free of sugar, fat, and gluten, ensuring a great taste with zero compromise. Available in five flavors, all of egglife's wraps are produced at its Indiana manufacturing facility and are available in over 10,000 stores across the country and through online retailers.
CEO David Kroll joined the company in 2019, to help bring Egglife Foods to market. Kroll has spent nearly three decades in the food industry, including positions with Unilever, MillerCoors and Procter & Gamble.
It took two years of product development and over 2,000 recipes to bring egglife to market; what were some of the early challenges for Egglife Foods and how does the company approach product development today?
Creating a first-of-its-kind innovative product like egglife egg white wraps was anything but easy. Perfecting the taste and texture of our wraps using as few ingredients as possible took a lot of trial and error to develop what we believe to be The Perfect Wrap - the only wrap to deliver the trifecta of taste, versatility and nutrition. Since no one had ever created anything like egglife wraps before, and we developed a patented process for making our wraps, there wasn't an “off the shelf” equipment solution for us to manufacture our wraps and we had to create a bespoke manufacturing process.
Our patented manufacturing process has application beyond wraps and there’s many products that egglife could have gone to market with, in addition to wraps. As a new brand creating a new category, it was imperative to stay hyper-focused on building our brand around a core product proposition, so that our operations team was prioritizing producing consistent, quality products and our sales and marketing teams were focused on building the egglife brand through a beach-head product first, ensuring adequate resourcing and clear messaging and communications to consumers.
We launched the brand with a line of savory wraps but quickly noticed consumers using our original wraps in sweet applications and identified a gap in the marketplace – sweet wraps. We got to work developing what became our sweet cinnamon egglife wraps, which launched in early 2022. Developing a sweet egg wrap using only natural sweeteners and no added sugar was another challenge. One hurdle was understanding the natural sweetener sources available that would meet our standards. Our R&D and Innovation teams navigated sweetener options that were true to egglife’s mission of using natural, clean ingredients that taste great while not adding carbohydrates–no easy feat! We found a solution in monk fruit, which allowed the wraps to have 0 grams sugar while still tasting sweet and delicious. Today, we are proud to offer six unique flavors (original, garden salsa, everything bagel, southwest, Italian, and sweet cinnamon) of egglife egg white wraps.
We approach product development today by first listening to our consumers and understanding what they’d like to see from egglife – anything from new flavor inspiration, to new uses for our wraps, to new products we’re looking to develop. Our consumers have told us that they’d like our packaging to be resealable and we’re on track to introduce a resealable package in 2024. We’ll also continue to develop new and exciting wrap flavors while we work on new category extensions for the egglife brand.
What are some of the ways in which egglife’s manufacturing process is innovative?
We built our manufacturing facility in Wolcott, Indiana, from scratch, taking a building with four walls and a dirt floor and transforming it into a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. We scaled the operation from pilot line to production, utilizing bespoke equipment and designing the patented manufacturing process. Egglife egg white wraps are made using a patented technology that converts liquid egg whites into a low carb, protein-packed tortilla-style wrap free of sugar, fat, gluten and dairy. That technology didn’t exist before we designed it.
As we have scaled, the operation has gone from manufacturing 160 packages of egglife per hour to over 2,200 packages per hour, and achieved the highest possible level of Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification consistently since inception. Egglife wraps are made with cage free egg whites and just a few simple ingredients, offering tasty, fresh wraps that contain 5+ grams of protein, <35 calories, <1 gram carbohydrates, and 0 grams sugar. They allow consumers the opportunity to enjoy the foods they love and flavors they crave, regardless of dietary lifestyle.
Egglife Foods has become one of the fastest-growing CPG brands in the U.S. To what do you attribute its success?
We believe that our unmatched nutritional profile, combined with the versatility that egglife egg white wraps provide and the fact that they meet the dietary and lifestyle needs of so many consumers are key drivers of our success – it’s all about filling a consumer need for a smarter tortilla alternative. Whether consumers are looking to plus-up their protein, follow a low-carb or gluten free lifestyle, or are simply looking to cut down on sugar, egglife is the perfect wrap for that.
The growth we have seen in the past five years has been tremendous. Since the production plant was set up in 2019, we have gone from 30 employees to over 140, and we have experienced explosive growth across the retail landscaping, increasing our total number of retail partners to over 11,500, spanning the entire US.
We have also scaled our business 10 times, from $4 million to $40 million in U.S. retail sales in under four years. And Egglife Foods has grown ACV to 33%, capturing the No. 1 category share of Refrigerated Healthy Wraps across the U.S.
How has egglife managed growth and its transition from a startup to a multi-level food manufacturer?
We’ve cultivated world-class talent when it comes to our employees and it has served us well. Many of us made the conscious decision to move away from larger companies to join Egglife Foods as a startup because we believed in the product potential, the mission of the brand and were ready to roll-up our sleeves and be actively involved in building the business. It’s been an extremely gratifying opportunity that’s continuously reflected in the success of the company, and it helps us better connect with customers. We remain hyper-focused on finding the right people that align with our company values and can continue to make egglife better every day.
Finding the balance between scale and agility has been another key to our success. As a rapid-growth startup, it has been critical to understand and identify areas where we need to implement processes and align on the appropriate rigor of those processes to ensure consistency and enable scale. Doing that, while remaining agile to the rapidly evolving needs of our business, is a delicate balance and requires us to regularly re-evaluate organizational priorities.
On a personal level, I really believe in low-hierarchy, ego-free leadership. We couldn’t achieve disruption through innovation – let alone rapid growth over the past five years – without humility and a deep commitment to our mission. That’s how we’ve built a world-class team and can deliver The Perfect Wrap to consumers each day.
What’s on the horizon for Egglife Foods?
Our newest wrap flavor, egglife garden salsa, is now exclusively available at ALDI stores nationwide after a successful pilot test earlier this year. Egglife's garden salsa wraps are a zesty mix of just-picked flavors including peppers, onion and garlic, bringing the fresh taste of the garden to any meal of the day, including a protein-packed breakfast quesadilla, low-carb turkey pinwheels for lunch and air-fryer taquitos for dinner.
From a retail footprint standpoint, we’re continuing to grow and add new outlets. In July, 2023, egglife expanded distribution with Whole Foods Market nationally. Long-time egglife fans have been asking for this, so we are thrilled to give them what they want and expand our availability from coast to coast. In addition to continuing to expand distribution with many of our current partners, we’re excited for a national rotation with Sam’s Club in the first quarter of 2024 that will include a variety pack of egglife original and egglife sweet cinnamon wraps – a first for the brand.
Additionally, in the first half of 2024, we’ll also be introducing optimized packaging that will include resealability – a feature our consumers and retailers have been asking for. We will also continue to build a pipeline of wrap flavor innovation. However, wraps are just the beginning for Egglife Foods. Our patented technology has application across categories and we will continue to disrupt legacy flour-based food products, providing consumers with delicious and nutritious alternatives to the foods they love. Egglife Foods is constantly listening to consumers, watching flavor, and better-for-you food trends in the marketplace to determine what products and flavors to come out with next.