Based out of London, food tech company Jack & Bry recently secured £1.25 million (approx US$1.73 million) in seed funding to further disrupt the alternative protein industry with the launch of new jackfruit meat substitutes for the conscious consumer.
The seed round witnessed the backing of SFC Capital, along with KM Capital, Rubix Ventures, and several high net worth private investors, and the funding will help the company in its future product innovations as well as pave the way for big-name customer acquisitions.
The funding news comes soon after the recent appointment of FMCG industry leaders to the management team including Clive Sharpe, former chairman of vegan and vegetarian meat alternative brand Quorn.
The startup’s existing product line features a range of jackfruit meat alternatives, such as burgers, mince, sausages, and its first ready to eat product, its popular pepperoni pizza ingredient.
Bryony Tinn-Disbury, founder of Jack & Bry, highlighted the consumers’ needs for not just meat substitutes but superior quality ones. “We know consumers are seeking out meat alternatives in ever greater numbers, but they are also seeking higher quality in the plant-based foods they buy. Key to that is an authentic recreation of taste and texture, and we’re proud to have developed a full retail range of branded jackfruit products to mimic all the meats to satisfy that demand.”
Jack and Bry currently distributes its products to all 450 outlets of U.S. pizza chain Papa John in the UK and Netherlands, and at around 300 stores of UK grocery player Sainsbury’s. They are also going to debut their products on the online vegan grocery shop the Vegan Kind.
Discussing the company’s plans for the future, Tinn-Disbury said: “Our ambition is to launch with another major supermarket in 2021 to help meet the booming demand. We predict the Veganuary effect will last throughout the whole year, not just January, and backed by our new investors and non-executive directors we are excited for the next stage of the journey at Jack & Bry.”
We know consumers are seeking out meat alternatives in ever greater numbers, but they are also seeking higher quality in the plant-based foods they buy. Key to that is an authentic recreation of taste and texture, and we’re proud to have developed a full retail range of branded jackfruit products to mimic all the meats to satisfy that demandBryony Tinn-Disbury, founder of Jack & Bry
Jack and Bry are also behind the launch of UK’s first plant-based fast-food fish burger with its Fillet-no-Fish added to the menu of Neat Burger, a plant-based restaurant franchise supported by Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton.
Rohallah Ghasemi, Lead Investment Manager at SFC Capital hopes that the investment in Jack and Bry makes meat alternatives more accessible to the masses. “We are delighted to be supporting Jack & Bry with this seed funding. The team has already achieved incredible growth, and we are looking forward to working with them as they expand into more direct-to-consumer channels. Shoppers are looking to add more and more innovative non-meat alternatives to their usual staples, and this trend is only going to continue over the coming years. Jack & Bry is in a great position to lead this new market.”
Another alt protein startup that is disrupting the jackfruit alt meat space is Singapore food tech Karana with its recent launch of its first product, a whole food plant-based pork alternative created from young jackfruit.
According to an industry report published by nonprofit the Good Food Institute (GFI), experts predict that in the post-Covid-19 world, the future of the alternative protein sector is only going to explode with research finding that in just the first quarter of 2020, plant-based protein companies in the U.S alone have raised a total of US$741 million in investment.
Apart from jackfruit’s texture and feel that is quite similar to meat, the tropical fruit is also packed with vitamins, minerals, potassium, fiber, and a host of other anti-inflammatory benefits. Looking to include this plant-based fruit in your kitchen? Here are a few recipes to get you started.
Lead image courtesy of Jack and Bry.