Jack & Bry brings in former Quorn head Clive Sharpe

Clive Sharpe

Plant-based start-up Jack & Bry has announced two new appointments as it continues to rapidly accelerate growth with plans for a new product launch next year.

The jackfruit pioneer has appointed FMCG industry veteran Clive Sharpe as non-executive chairman and David Flower as non-executive director.

Sharpe has been the chairman of Quorn for five years, playing a major role in the leading meat free brand’s £550m sale to the Philippines-based Monde Nissin in 2015.

Since leaving Quorn, he has held chairman roles at farmer-owned dairy co-operative First Milk, savoury pastry supplier Peter’s Food and lamb supplier Janan Meat. He has worked for brands such as Golden Wonder, Homepride Foods and WT Foods, where he served as chief executive, as well as Burton’s Biscuits and jam maker Duerr’s in his 40-year career in the food and drink industry.

“Clive’s extensive experience in the plant-based sector, and retail specifically, along with his expertise in marketing, governance, building businesses and international development, will be particularly valuable in supporting the next stage of the journey for Jack & Bry, in line with the company’s existing strategy,” commented Bryony Tinn-Disbury, founder of Jack & Bry.

Flower is managing director for Singha Europe and is a former divisional managing director at Kerry Foods, where he managed Indian ready meal business Noon Products and took charge of the Irish group’s Middle East division. He also spent eight years at Dairy Crest, latterly as commercial director.

“David’s proven track record in business transformation, value creation, supply chain knowledge and support of high performance teams are just some of the many reasons we brought him onboard,” Tinn-Disbury added.

With demand for meat alternatives soaring in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the brand has ambitious plans to launch a new range of jackfruit meat products to retailers in 2021.

“We’re the only branded jackfruit company making all the meats, including burgers, sausages, mince, chorizo and our famous pepperoni pizza topping. The soy and pea-based market has grown phenomenally, and we know consumers want more choice,” commented Bryony Tinn-Disbury, founder of Jack & Bry.

Sales of meat-free products in UK supermarkets leapt 18.3 per cent to £577.4 million this year [52 weeks ending 6 September 2020 – Kantar] while the global market for plant-based food is expected to continue to grow by 17 per cent to $4.2 billion in 2021.

Clive Sharpe said: “There is great growth potential in this category, and nobody has done jackfruit on a serious scale yet – until Jack & Bry.

“The product is delicious and healthy and is also manufactured using a proprietary method. There is an entrepreneurial spirit at the heart of the brand. Bryony and Jennifer (Pardoe, co-founder) are very open to new ideas to grow the business to its full potential and have built the right team around them to do it.”

Launched last year, Jack & Bry now supplies 138 Zizzi sites and 450 Papa John’s outlets across the UK, with its jackfruit pepperoni also used on Zizzi’s retail range of pizzas in more than 300 Sainsbury’s stores. Jack & Bry has also created a retail range of jackfruit meat alternatives, including mince, burgers and sausages.