With the exponential growth of the alt meat market globally, a wealth of plant-based ingredients – from algae to pea and everything in between – are coming under the spotlight for their functionality and sustainability. However, more and more producers are now turning to one ingredient previously overlooked until recent times: the humble jackfruit.
One such brand is newcomer Jack & Chill, which sources all its jackfruit from the local farms and households of Kerala, India, where the company has its roots. We spoke to Nisha Menon of Nikasu Foods UK about the new brand, what sets it apart and its plans for the rest of 2022.
How was the Jack & Chill brand born?
JACK & CHILL was born in 2019 with a mission to educate everyone about the natural versatility of Jackfruit.
Why have you chosen to focus on jackfruit?
Born and brought up in Kerala, the land of jackfruits, I have enjoyed a variety of dishes my mum & grand mum created with this miracle fruit. Jackfruit’s natural capability to mimic the texture of meat is absolutely incredible! Inspired by that, I wanted to bring the authenticity of our Indian cuisines and create naturally flavoursome Jackfruit meals to appeal to all.
How important are the brand’s Indian roots?
It’s really important as ours is a family run business. My dad set up this business over 25 years ago and we have two factories manufacturing Indian frozen food products like samosas, spring rolls, shredded coconut, parathas etc under our main brand NIKASU.
JACK & CHILL is our second brand created exclusively for jackfruit based products. You are guaranteed to get the authentic taste in all our products, as that’s our strength & that’s why our customers have loved our products for over 2 decades.
Describe your product line and how they differ from others on the market
We have three frozen products for the retail customers – Jackfruit Burgers, Biryani & Pulled Jackfruit. Ours is the only burger in the market that does not use methylcellulose or any artificial binding/stabilising agent. We use chickpea flour instead. We have always made our products with ingredients you find in your kitchen and that your five year old can recognise or your grandmother can pronounce. No chemical names whatsoever!
Where can customers find your products this Veganuary?
You can buy our products from over 500+ independent health stores incl Whole Foods, where we are doing a 20% off this month. You can also buy online or find your local stockist from our website https://jackandchill.co.uk/
We also supply bulk pack Jackfruit to many well-known manufacturers and food service customers in UK & Europe. Do email us at [email protected] for special offers on bulk packs. Additionally, you can buy our Jackfruit cookbook with over 61 recipes from Amazon https://amzn.to/3q77X9N
What can we expect to see from Jack & Chill in 2022?
We are doing a major rebranding on our packs and expecting to launch the new look along with a new range sometime in April/May. We are also speaking to a few retailers & hopefully, you will see our full range with one of the top retailers this year.
Follow us on socials @jacknchillfoods for updated news.