Nikasu’s Nisha Menon On Her Jackfruit Business, Jack + Chill

“We launched Jack + Chill to show everyone how versatile Jackfruit can be,” said Nisha Menon, the Director of Nikasu UK, and the Founder of Jack & Chill.

Having grown up in Kerala, I have eaten jackfruit in various forms throughout my life, mainly from my mum’s and grand mum’s recipes,” added Nisha.

Launched in 2019, Jack + Chill is the 2nd brand to be launched by the family-run business, Nikasu. Nikasu has manufactured frozen Indian foods for over 25 years. Their factory is based in Kerala, India (which manufactures and exports samosas, spring rolls, and shredded coconuts, – amongst other Indian food products).

The Jack + Chill product range includes: Jackfruit Burgers, Biryani, and Pulled Jackfruit, which is available to buy from over 500+ independent health stores, including Whole Foods, NISA, and Revital, etc. The brand also supplies in bulk to several manufacturers and food-service customers.

“We’re not looking to mimic meat with our Jackfruit, but instead, – to show you how to include this healthy, sustainable plant-based ingredient in your diet. Ultra-processed food with artificial ingredients damages your health long term. We ONLY use ingredients that you will recognize and can pronounce. Also, people love the fact that we have created clean label products that are authentic to my Indian roots,” said Nisha.

“Ours is the only burger in the market that doesn’t use artificial stabilisers like methyl cellulose. Instead, we use chickpea flour for binding. Our Biryani is so authentic, that your kitchen will smell of Indian flavours when you heat them up. And the best part is, its ready in 5 minutes,” she added.

So how did this all start?

“Initially, I graduated from a Medical Microbiology degree. As I come from a business family, I have seen the stresses involved in running a business, and I never imagined that I would be involved in our family business one day,” said Nisha.

But it all changed when she had children.

“After my kids were born, things started to change. I wanted a better work-life balance, which is when I decided to get involved in the family business. Although I didn’t enjoy it initially, slowly, I started to relish the freedom and flexibility of being my own boss,” said Nisha.

Nisha is a 3x finalist of the Croydon Business Awards. She has contributed to BBC News, The Telegraph, and to various other publications. She also runs a Facebook Group with over 2500 members (“the UK Importers Hub”), and frequently conducts events to support UK Importers.

But that’s not all.

“During the COVID-19 lock-down in 2020, our business was massively affected, and that’s when I decided to launch my own YouTube channel to support other importers, and to educate them about the import procedures from India into UK. I am now pleased to announce that the channel has crossed over 100K views. We also launched a Recipe Book on Amazon, – to help people cook from home.”

As well as this, Nisha is a motivational speaker, too, and this year will see Jack + Chill rebrand and introduce more meals.

You can find out more on the links below:

Jack + Chill: https://www.jackandchill.co.uk

Nisha’s website: https://nishamenon.co.uk

Nikasu: https://www.nikasu.com