JicaFoods on 'Shark Tank': What is the cost, who are the founders, and all about the healthy snacking alternative

JicaFoods on 'Shark Tank':  What is the cost, who are the founders, and all about the healthy snacking alternative
Xin and Melissa Wang in 'Shark Tank' Season 14 episode 10 (ABC)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Xin and Melissa, co-owners of JicaFoods, are a husband and wife duo discovered jicama, sometimes called the 'Mexican turnip' or 'Mexican potato,' while on vacation. They were so enamored with it that they decided to start an entirely new firm. They are now appearing on 'Shark Tank' to see if a shark or sharks are interested in investing in their new food company concept. Want to learn everything there is to know about JicaFoods? Find them right now.

 

You may be correct if it appears that everyone and their distant cousin is establishing a food firm these days. While companies like Kraft and Kellogg's continue to command premium shelf space in supermarkets, the specialty food business is expanding as customers become more conscious of what they put into their bodies. Food-focused entrepreneurs are locked up in food incubators as you read this, fine-tuning things you may not even notice are missing from your cupboard. However, after you try them, you'll wonder how you ever got by without them. By enticing taste buds, an increasing number of imaginative new food enterprises are enjoying success. Ahead, we explore JicaFoods, which should be on your gastronomic radar after making its TV debut on the upcoming episode of 'Shark Tank.'

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What is JicaFoods?

Melissa and Xin founded JicaChips in 2014. Melissa (a health-conscious foodie) wanted to experiment with baking chips made from jicama after being introduced to it in Mexico. Xin had previously preferred potato chips as a snack, but after a few nibbles of her jicama chips, he was hooked. They realized they were onto something when they chose to sell the chips at a nearby farmer's market. Every week, they were sold out. They capitalized on the enthusiasm and expanded to small retailers on NYC's outskirts. That's when AccelFoods discovered them and fell in love with their innovative product. The couple was able to scale up their little company with the help of AccelFoods and are now focused on brand growth.

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Jicama is a root vegetable from Mexico. Because of its flavor, the pair fell in love with jicama (a cross between an apple and a potato). When they discovered the health advantages of jicama, they realized JicaChips could enhance diets as they were better than the ordinary potato chip. Jicama distinguishes itself from its competitors not only by having 50% fewer calories and carbohydrates than a potato, but also by being fiber-rich, including inulin (a prebiotic), and being low glycemic. It's remarkable how crunchy and tasty it is with so many health advantages. "The Jicama is low in calories, sugar, and carbs," according to jicafoods.com. "It is also high in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. It is also a natural source of prebiotic fiber."

Xin, a former package designer, has long admired the upright pouch's adaptability. Since their upright pouches feature a peg hole, JicaChips can be positioned wherever in the shop, from on the shelf to hanging on a clip strip. Customers like the convenience of their packaging. The duo are passionate about their packaging that brazenly list the product's main traits to assist them in standing out among competitors. This design will boost "shopability" because of the vibrant colors and eye-catching pictures.

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JicaFoods has several options. They even provide three recipes for their Jicama Wraps and fries. Lime Chicken Jicama Wrap Tacos, Mango Shrimp Jicama Tacos, and Golden Jicama Fries are among the dishes. The recipes can be found here. JicaWraps are thinly sliced jicama sheets baked with a little coating of olive oil. They're a great substitute for flour tortilla wraps. JiaWraps are keto-friendly, paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and non-GMO, and include just 15 calories and 3 grams of carbohydrates per serving (2 wraps). They're ideal for tacos, lettuce wraps, and anything else that calls for a tortilla. JicaSticks are fresh jicama sticks fashioned like french fries. You may eat them as snacks right out of the packet, dip them in hummus or guacamole, or fry them. JicSticks have just 45 calories per serving and 6g of prebiotic fiber with no added sugar. Flavors include basic, chili lime, and cilantro.



 

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Who are the founders of JicaFoods?

 

Xin lives in Rowland Heights, California, with his partner, Melissa Colella-Wang. He earned a master's degree in package design from Pratt Institute after studying illustration at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Melissa, on the other hand, holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Wellesley College. In college, she was a member of an NCAA Division III swimming team. Unfortunately, nothing is known about her post-graduation work.

 

The two liked munching on snacks so much as a couple that it became their greatest temptation. They began running marathons, but their primary objective was to replace junk food with healthier alternatives.

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Xin and Melissa in 'Shark Tank' Season 14 episode 10 (ABC)
Xin and Melissa in 'Shark Tank' Season 14 episode 10 (ABC)

What is the cost and where to buy JicaFoods from?

 

JicaFoods' products are accessible through their online shop or through Amazon Prime. The duo plans to introduce a product request form shortly for merchants interested in selling their items in their stores. JicaFoods presently sells wraps, sticks, and Jica de Gallo, which is essentially a salsa dip made with Jicama as the main component. Their items are baked and have a light olive oil coating.

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Where is JicaFoods now?

 

Xin and Melissa have worked hard to educate the public about the benefits of eating jicama. This resulted in several distribution agreements, and JicaFoods is currently accessible in over 1,600 locations throughout the Southwest of America. The company is trying to extend its footprint in new areas. Furthermore, they continue to sell directly to customers. For these and other reasons, the founders require financing and wanted to bring on a Shark.

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JicaFoods' growth has been consistent since its inception. As planned, appearing on national television has resulted in a significant increase in sales. In addition, the volume of Google searches for jicama veggies will soar in the following days. Their nutritious snacks are available at certain Sprouts, Wegmans, Whole Foods, and Walmart locations. They have a website, JicaFoods.com, but you can't order from it, but it does offer some recipes and store locations. The firm already has 8,000 Instagram followers, and its items have generally excellent internet reviews. JicaFoods is now valued at $1.5 million, although this figure is subject to fluctuate owing to the 'Shark Tank' impact. The company presently employs seven full-time workers.



 

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Who will steal the deal?

 

Xin and Melissa will pitch the firm and its growth prospects to a panel of five Sharks. They'll have to persuade "Guest Shark" Gwyneth Paltrow, alongwith Lori Greiner, Kevin O'Leary, Barbara Corcoran, and Mark Cuban, that the firm is worth investing in. Either Kevin O'Leary or Lori Greiner might try to steal the deal. A decent business plan, good financials, and sales statistics will impress the Sharks, but they must also demonstrate their ability to operate the firm to "Shark standards."

 

'Shark Tank' Season 14, Episode 10 airs on ABC on Friday, January 6, 2023, at 8 pm ET. Catch the latest episode featuring products like Long Table, JicaFoods, Kudos, and Vo Chill. Missed an episode? Been wanting to catch up? Episodes can also be viewed the next day on demand and on Hulu. Not just that, you can also watch old seasons and episodes on Amazon Prime Video and iTunes.

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