Jack & Annie’s, a Boulder-based meat-alternative brand, raises $23 million

Jack & Annie’s, a sustainable plant-based meat alternative brand, closed a $23 million Series B funding round.

The round was led by Creadev and Desert Bloom, with major participation from Wheatsheaf and existing investors BetaAngels and InvestEco.

The funds will help the brand expand its distribution in the United States across retail, natural, club and restaurant channels, the company said in a press release.

Jack & annie’s is a registered trademark of Boulder-based Global Village Fruit Inc., although the company operates as The Jackfruit Co.

In 2020, Global Village Fruit filed a Form D with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission announcing that it had raised $4.83 million in equity.

The company produces a meat alternative with jackfruit as the first ingredient.

Jack & Annie’s traces its origins to a trip founder Annie Ryu took to India ten years ago. Ryu, then a pre-med student at Harvard, was introduced to jackfruit, also known as “jack”, by local farmers at a market in India.

“She immediately loved the texture of the meat and the delicious versatility of the dishes, but was disappointed to learn that 70% of the jackfruit is left unused,” the company said in a statement. “Annie decided to make it her mission to convert this underutilized crop into nutritious, delicious food and a source of income for farming families.

Jack & Annie’s is distributed in more than 1,500 stores, including Whole Foods, Sprouts, Meijer, Wegmans, Hannaford, Target and Giant. The brand was the third-largest brand in the herbal category by dollar sales, according to SPINS data in the Natural Channel for the 24 weeks ending Oct. 3, cited by the company.

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

“We have known Creadev and Desert Bloom for many years and are extremely excited to take this strong relationship to the next level, joining hands with each other as shareholders,” she added. “With their help, we are committed to continuing to make delicious foods that deliver the goodness of plants, improving the health of our bodies, the health of the planet, and the livelihoods of our farmers.”

Jack & Annie’s is available in flavors such as crispy jack nuggets, buffalo jack wings, jack breakfast sausages and patties, jack dinner sausages, and smoked pulled pork.

The company says it operates the world’s largest supply chain for jackfruit, accounting for over 70% of all retail jackfruit products. Jack & Annie’s also provides a market for an underutilized crop, preventing waste and providing more than 1,200 farming families with 10-40% of their income, the company said.

© 2021 BizWest Media LLC

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