• Who founded The Jackfruit Company and why?

    Annie Ryu founded The Jackfruit Company in 2011. Back then, she was a pre-med student traveling in India, where she and her brother were implementing a maternal and child healthcare program they’d developed together. While there, she saw her first jackfruit at a street vendor’s stall, was immediately intrigued, and set out to learn more.

    What she learned was this: aside from its unique ecologically sustainable abundance, young jackfruit naturally has a texture like shredded meat, contains no sugar, and has a subtle flavor that adapts to the spices and flavors it’s cooked with. Yet despite these many nutritional and ecological benefits, the majority of jackfruit grown in India was going to waste.

    Annie is a social entrepreneur with a mission to improve lives. In jackfruit, she saw an opportunity to work in harmony with the farmers, producers, and the changing climate, and went to work developing a line of healthy, whole food meatless main dishes all featuring jackfruit.

  • What is jackfruit?

    Jackfruit is a tropical fruit native to India. A member of the fig, mulberry, and breadfruit family, the jackfruit tree produces the largest tree-borne fruit in the world—a mature jackfruit tree can produce over 200 individual fruits per year, and a single jackfruit can weigh up to 100 pounds.

  • What’s jackfruit like?

    Jackfruit can be eaten in three stages of maturation: young, mature, and ripe.

    We utilize jackfruit at both the young and ripe stages. Young jackfruit has no sugar, a dense, shredded texture similar to pulled pork, and a subtle flavor that takes on the the seasonings and flavors it’s cooked with.

    Ripe Jackfruit is sweet, and has a tropical flavor that’s a combination of banana/mango/pineapple. (There’s a rumor that Juicy Fruit gum is based on the flavor of ripe jackfruit.)

  • Is jackfruit nutritious?

    Yes! In more ways than one!

    Most meat alternative foods are highly processed—but not jackfruit. A whole food, the young jackfruit we offer comes with both its macro and micronutrients intact. Aside from being an excellent source of fiber–with nearly a third of your daily requirement in one ½ cup serving–that same portion of jackfruit also contains 2 grams of protein, 20% of the US RDA of potassium, plus iron and calcium. Jackfruit is also low in calories and sodium and contains zero cholesterol and no unhealthy fats.

    Ripe jackfruit, which has developed complex sugars, is sweeter and higher in calories than young jackfruit. It’s also high in Vitamin E and manganese, and a good source of fiber, potassium, and magnesium.

  • What are the environmental and socioeconomic benefits of jackfruit?

    In terms of the environment, the jackfruit tree is hardy, naturally drought and temperature resistant, and prolific, making it a good resource of sustainable food in our changing climate. It’s native to forests, which are naturally organic, and growing it requires no irrigation, pesticides, or herbicides.  But the socioeconomic benefits are also huge: in the process of repairing the broken systems of distribution to make this amazing food more available to consumers outside of India, Annie realized better economic opportunities for more than 1,000 farming families. Through harvesting wild jackfruit, farmers gained the ability to have multiple income streams, and by converting their naturally organic land to certified organic, they can garner a premium price for all crops they sell.

  • What’s in your current product portfolio – product types, MSPR, sizes/flavors?

    The Jackfruit Company offers jackfruit two distinctively different ways: young jackfruit as delicious meat alternative products, and frozen prepared sweet ripe jackfruit, ready to add to desserts and smoothies.

    Meal Starters (2.5, ½ cup servings)

    With its meaty flavor and satisfying dense texture, jackfruit is the perfect centerpiece for our meal starters. Each one is a convenient and healthy way to integrate plant-based foods into your favorite meals in a satisfying way.

    BBQ, 10 oz, SRP $4.99
    Tex-Mex, 10 oz, SRP $4.99
    Curry, 10 oz, SRP $4.99
    Teriyaki, 10 oz, SRP $4.99
    Lemon Garlic, 10 oz, SRP $4.99
    Lightly Seasoned, 10 oz, SRP $4.99

    Frozen Pouches (2.5, ½ cup servings)

    Our meal starter favorites, now available in the frozen section of your favorite store.

    BBQ, 10 oz, SRP $4.99
    Tex-Mex, 10 oz, SRP $4.99
    Curry, 10 oz, SRP $4.99
    Lightly Seasoned, 10 oz, SRP $4.99

    Ripe Jackfruit

    Sweet, ripe jackfruit, prepared and ready to add to your favorite smoothie or dessert, or an anytime sweet snack.

    Ripe Jackfruit, 10 oz, SRP $5.99

  • Are your products gluten-free?

    All of our entrees are certified gluten-free, with the exception of our Teriyaki Jackfruit (which contains soy sauce, a wheat-based condiment). Our ripe jackfruit and meal starters also contain no gluten, but are not yet certified gluten-free

  • Are all of the ingredients organic?

    Right now, only our Lightly Seasoned Jackfruit Meal-Starter is 100% USDA certified organic. However, most of our products are made with organic ingredients, and we’re working towards every ingredient we use being organic (it’s a process!). However, all of our products are either non-GMO verified, or in the process of being verified by the Non-GMO Project.

    On top of that, we actively work to help our Indian farmer partners convert their land to organic certification.

  • Are your products vegan and dairy-free?

    The Jackfruit Company™ products are vegan

  • How do you choose your farming partners?

    Aside from our stringent fruit quality standards, we invest significant resources to identify the jackfruit farmers most impacted by the inefficiencies in jackfruit supply chains.

  • How many farmers do you currently work with?

    We work with more than 1,000 farming families in India to source our high-quality jackfruit.

  • How to you ensure your farmers meet your standards of quality?

    We train our farmers to identify the right quality fruit according to our specifications. Once the fruit is delivered to factories, each jackfruit is inspected twice by trained factory workers before it’s selected for further processing.

  • How many stores now carry The Jackfruit Company™ products?

    The Jackfruit Company™ products can be found in more than 6,000 stores in the United States (use our Store Locator to find the one nearest you), including national retailers like Kroger, Publix, Safeway/Albertson’s, Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, Natural Grocers, Walmart, HEB, Meijer, and Wegmans.

  • What about the foodservice pouches? Can I buy those individually?

    Yes! They’re available online at www.veganessentials.com.