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Jica Foods

jica foodsXin and Melissa Wang give the Sharks a taste of Jica Foods, their Jicama based snacks, in Shark Tank episode 1410. Jicama is otherwise known as the Mexican Turnip and it’s a very low calorie, nutrient dense root vegetable. It’s been consumed for centuries in Mexico and Central America. The Wangs were introduced to it in 2015 on a trip to Mexico where they munched on sticks of Jicama with lime and cilantro. They claim it tastes like something between an apple and a potato. When they returned from their trip, they began selling Jicama chips at local farmer’s markets and they were a big hit. A year later, they had a business in place.

Xin’s background is in packaging, design and branding while Melissa’s is in quality control in the pharmaceutical industry. The couple got its start at AccelFoods, a food based startup accelerator program for new, healthy food businesses. They also did a lot of food related trade shows to educate the buyers from national chain stores.

Their work paid off. They are currently in over 1600 stores including Wal Mart, Sprouts, Whole Foods and Wegman’s in the south western USA. They do not sell direct to consumer as of the original air date. Their three product categories are Jica Wraps, Jica Sticks and Jica De Gallo. The company is doing well with over $1 million in annual revenue. They likely want a Shark’s help with national expansion and direct to consumer sales.

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Posts about Jica Foods on Shark Tank Blog

Jica Foods – Jicama Snacks

Jica Foods Shark Tank Recap

Xin and Melissa enter the Shark Tank seeking $300,000 for 3% of their company. Xin says he loves tacos, but he can’t eat them every day. Melissa says it’s because of the “calorie laden tortilla.” Lettuce wraps aren’t a good alternative. Their Jica wraps are a tortilla with the healthy benefits of a lettuce wrap. The tortillas are made from thin slices of Jicama. Jicama is low carb, low calorie, high fiber and it improves gut health. Their wraps are only 8 calories and 1 net carb per wrap.

The Sharks taste their samples of tacos, Jicama sticks and “Jica de Gayo.” Gyneth says she has Jicama taco recipes in her last cookbook. Each 15 pack of tacos costs $1.85 to make, wholesales for $2.99 and retails for $4.99. Their tacos are cheaper than “regular” tacos and far less expensive than keto/low carb tacos on the market.

They started the company in 2015 with Jicama chips; they git to $500,000 in sales with that. The problem was they were competing in the salty snacks category and were losing money. At one point, they had $300 in the bank and $70,000 in credit card debt. In 2019, they pivoted to fresh cut Jicama and did $1 million in sales. In 2020, they had $4 million in sales and $5 million in 2021. This year (2022) they’re projecting $6 million. Profits are $400,000 but should be more; they’re sinking profits into their own manufacturing facility. The Jicama is processed and sourced in Mexico. The shelf life is 19 days.

They are on the shelves at Whole Foods and Sprouts and they are being distributed for food service by Cisco. They’re in a total of 700 stores and they’re very popular. Kevin questions their valuation and says they’re asking for a 25X multiple on profits. He says nobody will do that deal.

Barbara offers $300,000 for 10% and she gets a pro rata distribution whenever they take money out of the company. Mark isn’t a big Jicama fan; he’s out. Lori likes what they’re doing and thinks they’re in the right space at the right time, but the business isn’t for her; she’s out. Xin counters Barbara with 5% and Barbara won’t budge. Kevin says he’ll do it for 9% to squeeze Barbara. Xin counters again at 7% and Kevin and Barbara say no. Xin says they need help with sales and marketing and Kevin says he can open doors for them. Barbara says she can do the same thing as Kevin. Melissa counters Barbara with 6% and 2% advisory shares; Barbara says she wants 3% advisory shares. They take Barbara’s deal.

Jica Foods Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show.

As of July, 2023, about 6 months after the original air date, there is no evidence the deal with Barbara closed. Since airing, they have their products in Whole Foods, Sprouts, Vons, Pavillions, and Albertsons – all in the western USA. At this time, reliable revenue figures are unavailable.

The Shark Tank Blog will follow-up on Jica Foods & Xin and Melissa Wang as more details become available.