KARANA, a Singapore-based food tech startup, announces that it has partnered with several San Francisco restaurants to serve its lifelike jackfruit meat. The event is the first time Karana’s product will be available on US menus, marking its official US market debut.
Three acclaimed restaurants – Empress, Wildseed and Base Camp – will feature KARANA’s plant-based meat in signature meatballs, as a specialty pizza topping and more, with Wildseed adding it to the menu as its pizza sausage current vegan replacement for the Beyond Meat sausage.
For the U.S. launch, the company will sell its jackfruit dumplings and ground meat to chefs and foodservice in the Bay Area, followed by the Greater Los Angeles area.
“Our original goal has always been to get KARANA tasted through chefs first,” said Blair Crichton, co-founder of KARANA. “It’s the ultimate way to discover a new ingredient and in line with our goal of making every customer interaction with a KARANA product an incredible dining experience.”
A triple threat
Karana says its plant-based meats provide the “triple threat” benefits of taste, health, and biodiversity promotion. As a growing number of companies sell meat products made from jackfruit, Karana says it applies proprietary technology to the fruit’s natural meaty textures, making it indistinguishable from meat of animal origin.
Founded in 2018, KARANA says its products are growing in popularity due to their quality and simple, minimally processed list of eight ingredients. All of its products are non-GMO, soy-free, low in cholesterol, and free of artificial colors or flavors, the brand says. KARANA also says that chefs and home cooks have praised its jackfruit’s versatility, which could absorb sauces and flavors as well as traditional meats.
“An Exciting Time”
Outside Asia, KARANA has established an office in San Mateo, California. After expanding into Singapore and Hong Kong last year, the company is now looking forward to bringing its products to eager American diners.
“We are extremely excited to launch with such a group of chefs and restaurants,” said KARANA co-founder Dan Riegler. He continued, “Our mission is to take ingredients like jackfruit that support soil health and farmers, and turn them into an incredible, diverse texture and flavor experience to use in the kitchen.