The Jackfruit Co., Upton's Naturals jackfruit

Jackfruit the next superfruit?

High in fiber and low in calories, the large Southeast Asian tree fruit known as jackfruit has a meaty texture and sweet flavor. Several vegan brands, including Upton’s Naturals, the Jackfruit Co., and Yves Veggie Cuisine, offer packaged jackfruit dressed in savory sauces to replace meat in tacos or sandwiches.

Restaurants, too, are presenting jackfruit in a variety of popular menu items, from tacos to tamales, introducing mainstream consumers to the ingredient by featuring it in familiar formats.

A third of consumers (37% of millennials) said they plan to buy more vegetarian or plant-based food products in the next year, according to Mintel, suggesting even meat eaters may be open to consuming alternatives like jackfruit. However, education may be required to foster consumer awareness and acceptance.