Wakao Foods’ jackfruit-based vegan meat shipped to US

The Agricultural and Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA) facilitated vegetable container shipment meat substitutes to the United States.

About 13 tons of Wakao Foods’ jackfruit-based products were shipped to the US from the port of Kochi last week, APEDA said, marking a significant milestone in the plant-based movement in India. The flag-raising ceremony was attended by Rajesh Agrawal, President of APEDA, Vinod Kumar Vidyarthi, General Manager, APEDA and Sairaj Dound of Wakao Foods and other industry stakeholders, according to the statement.

Wakao Foods is a Goa-based startup that produces vegan meat alternatives primarily from jackfruit. Wakao’s exports to the United States included several products derived from jackfruit, such as American Herb Sausage, Raw Jack, BBQ Jack, Teriyaki Jack, and others. “This is the largest shipment of jackfruit-based products to the United States,” Siraj said, adding that the second shipment will take place in the next 10 days.

The company sources jackfruits from states like Karnataka and Kerala and processes them at its factory in Kochi. Wakao exports jack-based meat alternatives to Dubai, the Netherlands, Norway and Singapore.

Rajesh Agrawal, President of APEDA, emphasized the importance of globalizing indigenous inputs such as jackfruit to diversify protein supply and combat protein-related malnutrition in India. “Unleashing the potential of jackfruit supports the plant-based movement and brings economic benefits to jackfruit farmers by increasing their income,” APEDA said in a statement.

APEDA is actively promoting vegan meat products and intends to expand its export basket with more options in this category. Wakao Foods’ successful full container load export is a testament to the growing popularity of plant-based foods in developed countries. She said the high nutritional value, rich fiber content and absence of cholesterol in plant food products made them attractive alternatives globally.

Wakao Foods has worked for the past eight months to decode the taste and palate of the American market and develop products specifically suited to it, including both ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat options. Their main product is jackfruit meat, which caters to the growing vegan trend. Wakao Food was launched in 2020 and has achieved a monthly growth of 25 percent.