jack & annie’s Annie Ryu Named “Mindful CEO of the Year” In 2022 Mindful Awards Program

Annual Awards Program Recognizes Top Mindful Companies, Services and Products Within the Packaged Goods Industry

The 2022 Mindful Awards Program, an independent recognition platform highlighting conscious companies and products that mindfully make waves in the ever-expanding world of consumer-packaged goods, today announced that Annie Ryu of jack & annie’s, a sustainable plant-based brand made from a real, whole plant, jackfruit, has been recognized as “Mindful CEO of the Year.”

As the global pioneer and leader in jackfruit products and farm-to-market jackfruit supply chains, jack & annie’s frozen and refrigerated products are available nationwide and gaining in popularity amongst both plant-based and meat-eating consumers. The company makes sustainable plant-based foods from a real whole plant: jackfruit. Annie Ryu, its founder and CEO, is committed to creating craveable, whole plant foods that shake up the CPG industry one innovation at a time.

Ryu discovered jackfruit while visiting India to implement a maternal and child healthcare program as part of her Harvard pre-med studies. First encountering jackfruit at a street vendor’s stand, she became inspired by the potential of the tasty, meaty plant to make a healthy difference for people and the environment. She switched gears from medicine to food and has since worked relentlessly to help popularize jackfruit as an ideal meatless innovation, all while building a supply chain that efficiently transports jackfruit from India to the U.S.

Currently, there are 8,000 new acres of certified organic land where new jackfruit trees have been planted. Additionally, with 70 percent of jackfruit globally going unused, by creating jack & annie’s, Ryu has helped to keep thousands of tons of jackfruit out of compost.

Ryu was also careful to build her jackfruit supply chain in order to ensure farmers could create income and realize better livelihoods. Today, jack & annie’s supports a straight-from-the-farmer supply chain that helps 1,500 families earn 10-40 percent of their income.

After only one year on the market, jack & annie’s is a top 10 brand in the natural channel, and a top 10 nugget brand in grocery in the meatless alternative segment.

In addition to building consumer interest for at-home consumption, jack & annie’s aims to drive interest and innovation within the foodservice space. By incorporating jack & annie’s products into recipes and menus, restaurateurs and foodservice operators can contribute to a sustainable food system, while preventing food waste and offering consumers delicious, whole-plant foods.

The future of food is taking shape around whole-plant foods, such as jackfruit, with jack & annie’s intending to play a central role in this evolution. Ryu and her team are working towards positioning jack & annie’s as the first whole-plant offering available to consumers nationwide, in both restaurants and major grocery retailers. In an increasingly saturated market of plant-based meat alternatives, Ryu is differentiating the category with one jackfruit based product at a time.

“I’m overwhelmed with gratitude to receive this award. Ever since I took up the mission to convert an underutilized crop to nutritious, delicious food, and an income stream for farming families in India, the wonder of jackfruit keeps inspiring me,” said Ryu. “I have never been afraid of a challenge, but I had no knowledge or connections in the food industry and no formal business education or prior experience. What I did know is that the next generation of plant-based foods should be real food that comes from a real plant. This makes it possible to transform the global food system for the better. I’m committed to crafting tasty foods that deliver the benefits of plants to improve the health of our bodies and the planet as well as the livelihoods of our farmers.”

The mission of the Mindful Awards program is to honor conscious companies and products that do what’s right for people and the planet. Recognizing the best in transparent, fair, natural, organic, sustainable, healthy and delicious products. This year’s program attracted more than 1650 nominations from companies all over the world. All nominations are evaluated by an independent panel of experts within the consumer-packaged goods industry, with the winning products and companies selected based on a variety of criteria, ranging from brand principles, environmental impact, health, taste and transparency.

“Many plant-based brands primarily use water, isolates, or other chemically processed ingredients leading to highly processed products. Additionally, 70% of jackfruit has hitherto gone unused – a huge shame as this underutilized crop is tasty and nutritious being high in fiber and low in calories,” said Travis Grant, Managing Director, Mindful Awards. “Annie’s approach is creating a more responsible and sustainable food system. By using full container load ocean freight to get their food from India to North America in the most carbon efficient way, and always working to improve the land by planting trees and promoting regenerative agricultural practices, she is an industry leader with a clear vision for her brand and the future of food. Annie embodies the qualities of a ‘Mindful CEO Of The Year.’”

jack & annie’s products are currently in over 3,000 stores.

About Mindful Awards
The Mindful Awards organization is devoted to honoring mindful companies in the consumer-packaged goods industry that are setting the foundation for our future. The Mindful Awards are devoted to providing a forum for public recognition around the achievements in categories Food, Beverage and Snacks, Supplements, and Leadership. Mindful Awards goal is to further expand recognition of mindful companies. For more information visit MindfulAwards.com.

About jack & annie’s
jack & annie’s made by The Jackfruit Company, was founded by Annie Ryu, and is on a mission to create real, delicious foods with great flavor and texture in a sustainable way by using jackfruit, an underutilized crop. The Jackfruit Company operating the largest global jackfruit supply chain, is a leader in R&D and now accounts for over 70% of all retail jackfruit products sold. jack & annie’s is more than just a plant-based brand that creates a delicious alternative to meat, it is made from a whole plant grown on a tree with jackfruit always as the first ingredient. From crispy jack nuggets to savory breakfast jack sausage patties, the brand offers foods that are satisfying for meat eaters and plant eaters alike. Bite-by-bite, jack & annie’s builds a better planet and supports farming communities in India by preventing an underutilized crop from going to waste and provides over 1,200 farming families with 10-40% of their income. For more information on jack & annie’s, visit http://www.jackandannies.com or follow them on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter @jackandannies.

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