Every summer, we bring our entire sales, marketing, and buying teams together for a three-day meeting to talk about trends, do training, and of course conduct some team building. This past summer during one of our sessions, the subject of one of our hottest, trendiest items, jackfruit, came up. It’s actually known as the largest fruit in the world—one fruit can grow to be 100 pounds! (Most of what we sell are 10 to 20 pounds each.) Because they are so big, they are quite challenging to cut and serve.
Our entire group talked about the challenge of this enormous fruit; it yields so much edible fruit that it is often too much for one household. It’s really a fruit for sharing. And because of the time and effort required to open it up, remove the pulp, and extract the pods, it’s a lot more fun to get a group together to “process” the fruit and then send people home with their own bag of fresh and ready-to-eat jackfruit pods.
So we came up with the idea of having a “Jackfruit Party.” It was our way of making it fun to conquer a jackfruit.
If you’ve never seen how to open a jackfruit, watch this:
We knew from our own experience that jackfruit was definitely a trending fruit, and I wrote about it as a meat substitute in a past blog. Then a couple of months ago, the Wall Street Journal dubbed jackfruit one of the next hot trends in food.
Around the same time, the Wall Street Journal also published a story about the market for weird fruits during the Jewish New Year, also known as Rosh Hashanah. It is a tradition to eat new fruits for the new year. Many supermarkets often stock up on all the unusual tropical fruits during this time. Along with their story, WSJ showed a video of a New York City specialty market with huge tropical fruit displays that included giant jackfruits, selling for $79.99 each!
When I saw the video, I realized how scary the fruit looked, and at that $80 price tag, who would buy it? So that inspired me to challenge my team to figure out a way to begin labeling our jackfruit with information that shows shoppers what to do with this crazy fruit. If you are going to spend that kind of money on a tropical fruit, you want to know how to prepare it so you have the best possible experience!
And so, our jackfruit label was born just a couple of months ago.
So if you see a ginormous jackfruit in your store (or possibly a half or quartered one), take that bold step and buy it—then have your own jackfruit party.
We are always looking for new ways to educate shoppers on the weird and wonderful exotic produce of the world. What tropical fruit would you be more willing to try if it had an informational label?