NANKA’s approach to alternative meat innovation currently is to develop jackfruit as a “platform supplier” to be mixed with any type of protein, animal or vegetable, to create a hybrid or fully-hybrid product. plant based on what the consumer is looking for. for.

“Jackfruit has the advantage of being high in fiber and low in fat, and is therefore able to act as a robust platform to mix with many types of protein on the market,”Ahmad Syafik Jaafar, Strategy Director of the management company NANKA, IRA NOAH, said FoodNavigator-Asia.

“It has a very meat-like cell structure and very fibrous content and the patties have almost similar physical characteristics to regular meat patties – we’ve tried mixing them with various types of protein in the past, from mushrooms to mycoproteins in going through peas and insects, as well as beef and chicken.Have

“We’re still researching the best sources of protein to work with, but so far we’re reasonably sure that they can be mixed with any type of protein, just like blank canvas to create alternative protein art to from there. So basically we can help create a quick iteration of plant-based meat with jackfruit and some other protein.Have

For the moment, NANKA markets a 100% vegetable burger pancake (jackfruit base with mushrooms) and two types of hybrid pancakes (jackfruit base with chicken or beef). The plant-based one is priced at RM 19 ($ 4.57) for four patties, while the chicken is RM 21 ($ 5.06) and the beef RM 23 ($ 5.54).

“We are selling the herbal version at a lower price, because the hope is really to get more people to try it and hopefully act as a go-between for those looking to switch to a diet. plant-based ‘,said Syafik.

“We are positioning our products to be more premium right now, but at the same time we have a lot of cost advantages due to the abundant supply and source of jackfruits in Malaysia as well as in neighboring countries, Thailand and Indonesia.Have

“So while we don’t try to start some kind of price war, we can offer those lower prices and will keep trying to create even more competitive products because we don’t want to be premium for too long – ultimately we we want to democratize our products so that they are accessible to more consumers.Have

NANKA currently has investors from places like Singapore and Japan, and expects Japan to be its next major market as it has already sent in product samples, and its website has a Japanese version as well.

“Our investor is promoting it very actively in places like Tokyo and Osaka, and in Tokyo in particular there are a lot of consumers looking for plant-based meat options, they have high purchasing power. and are very adventurous in terms of food, so we are very optimistic. , “he said.

“We are currently also in discussions with several large food companies to work on product co-creation, using jackfruit as a platform for various alternative proteins, as mentioned. We hope other markets are India, where many companies want to collaborate on products, and Australia, although it may be a bit later. “Have

Demographic acceptance and challengesHave

According to Syafik, the arrival of brands like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods has really opened up the market to the acceptance of new alternatives to meat in the plant space.

“In the beginning there were a lot of challenges in education and awareness as Malaysia already has its own vegan and vegetarian base which always compares products to 1.0 soy based vegetable meat products commonly referred to as simulated meat, and we had a lot of work to do to position ourselves away from them ”,he said.

“In addition, previously only Indian and Chinese consumers showed great interest in plant-based foods, and much less Malaysian.Have

“So while we don’t position ourselves strictly as a vegan or vegetarian business because we also have mixed options, what’s important for us is to reach out to consumers looking for healthier products. Flexitarians in particular are a fairly untapped market here, as many consumers don’t want to fully convert to plant-based foods, but just want a healthier version of fast food, which we can provide.Have

NANKA also sells ready-to-reheat RTE meatball meals and nuggets in its store, and in the future it will focus on more plant-based meat formulations and protein combinations with its jackfruit technology.

“Another new innovation we’re looking at is making a plant-based butter, using another Malaysian fruit from Borneo. “he added.

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