Venture Capital: Jack & Annie’s Raises $23M For “Meat” From The Jackfruit Plant

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Jackfruit has the amazing ability to mimic beef, pork, chicken and seafood.

Annie Ryu discovered the jackfruit and its meat substitute potential while working in India as a pre-med student in 2011. She has since succeeded in building Jack & Annie’s into a leading vegan frozen food brand that just announced its $23 million Series B funding round led by Creadev, Desert Bloom, Wheatsheaf, and existing investors Beta Angeles and Investco. (Green Queen)

Jack & Annie’s makes its “meat” products including frozen and chilled sausages, pulled pork, and wings, from whole plant jackfruit. Extensively grown and eaten in India, Jackfruit is the largest tree fruit in the world. It can grow as large as 40 pounds. It grows across India and Southeast Asia. The fruit is nutritious, containing a range of nutrients including vitamins C, B2, B3, B6, B9, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous, rich in fiber, and low on calories. Unfortunately, Ryu found that about 70% of jackfruit that is grown is wasted.

She saw the possibilities of the plant as a sustainable alternative to meat and worked to build her jackfruit supply chain around Indian farmers. These families now obtain 10 to 40% of their income by supplying jackfruit to Ryu instead of throwing the excess away.

Ryu also assiduously worked on brand-building in the US, and within a year had her product on the shelves of more than 1,500 retailers including Whole Foods, Sprouts, Meijer, Wegman’s, Hannaford, Target, and Giant. Jack & Annie’s brand is now the third largest frozen brand in the plant-based meat category.

“We are excited that our investors are partnering with us to create the next generation of plant-based—real foods, from a real plant,” said Ryu in a statement. “They are experienced, connected investors who share our vision and values – to transform the global food system for the good of people and planet.”

“Annie and her team are dedicated to making a real positive impact, from partnering directly with farmers to formulating excellent, nutritious whole plant foods to reduce meat consumption,” said Delphine Descamps, Managing Director of Creadev.

“Jack & Annie’s alternative meat products are made from jackfruit—a whole food that has tremendous nutritional value,” said Sohel Shikari, co-founder of Desert Bloom. “We believe the adoption of these products will help improve consumer health, reduce animal production, promote regenerative agricultural practices and add incremental income to farmers.”

Related Story: New Age Meats Lands $25M Series A

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