A true pioneer in its industry, Jalofoods, started long before plant based protein became a mainstream ingredient. The Finnish company has been active more than three decades, providing healthy plant-based protein products. Beyond the innovative products, Jalofoods is also constantly progressing its production to become more sustainable with a circular mindset. Learn more in this Humble Story!
Jalofoods has been around for more than 30 years, while tofu has become a more popular ingredient in recent years. How did it all start?
Indeed, the story of Jalofoods dates back over 30 years now, precisely to Tammisaari / Ekenäs in Southern Finland (where we are still based). The original vision, driven by plant based and sustainable food production, remains unchanged today.
Since the beginning we have focused on producing better, plant-based protein options to promote and improve the wellbeing of both people and the planet. We started to make our own organic tofu at a time when tofu, or vegetarian food in general, was an unfamiliar (even surreal!) idea to the vast majority of people in Finland. With unrelentless determination we set off and developed our own tofu production process, perfecting and tailoring the production methods as we went along towards wider awareness, adoption and growth.
In true pioneer style we have introduced the Finnish market with new, plant-based protein alternatives throughout the last three decades. As plant-based food options are gaining increasing popularity, we have been able to convince consumers that our protein options, based on organic beans and pulses, are a healthier choice personally and for the climate. Our rapidly growing community of vegetarian food enthusiasts proves that our tofu and tempeh products are also super tasty, versatile and easy to turn into delicious vegetarian dishes. We are very proud of our popular recipes.
Today our range includes natural and marinated tofu classics in block format, based on European organic soy beans. In addition, our range includes various innovative tempeh products, not only based on the traditional soy beans, but also made with Finnish fava beans and peas. Most recently, we have made vegetarian cooking and eating super easy with our ‘pulled’ and roasted tofu pieces. These are a real game-changes for those looking for an easy, healthy plant protein option! As a bonus, they are officially extremely low in carbon footprint.
We have come a long way, and we have and we will stay true to our mission all the way!
What do you see as the main health benefits with tofu and tempeh?
For humans, tofu and tempeh products are a great, 100% plant-based protein. Many people aren’t aware that tofu actually contains all essential amino acids that the human body is unable to make by itself. It is a complete protein which, through its traditional production methods, has undergone relatively little processing.
Many Western nations (such as the Finns) eat way too much red meat and too little vegetables. The so-called Western diet is one of the reasons behind increased mortality rates and the incidence of various diseases. Beans and pulses are fantastic options to replace animal-based products in our diets, with extremely high potential to convert our diets to a healthier version.
Lastly, we believe that organic is the way to go. It is better for us humans as, naturally, food should be as clean as possible and free of pesticides. The same applies for the health of the planet as organic farming is one of the key ways to keep biodiversity in balance. This not only contributes to reducing climate change but good biodiversity ensures that life (for animals, plants and humans) can go on.
Moreover, beans and pulses (the main ingredients of both tofu and tempeh) convert nitrogen in the air into a form of nitrogen that plants can use in soil, improving the quality of soil and reducing the need for artifical nitrogen fertilizers. Tofu and tempeh are healthier options all around!
What compelled you to become part of Humble Group?
Our aim is to grow Jalofoods into a company with a turnover of 8-10 million euros in five years. Such growth requires continuous investment. In order to achieve this we, as a small company, needed to be realistic about our own resources.
Investments required over the next few years is estimated at around 3 million euros. To a company our size, this is a significant sum. Becoming part of Humble Group ensures that we can achieve our growth targets. In addition, new distribution channels outside the domestic, Finnish markets may become available to us. Humble Group excels at brand development and we look forward to giving our brands a boost together, both in Finland and internationally.
We share the same goals with Humble Group around driving and developing sustainable business practices that boost human wellbeing. Sharing best practices and ideas with other like-minded Humble Group companies is an exciting possibility and a valuable asset to us.
Sustainable production is a priority for Jalofoods and you have some exciting plans ahead, tell us more!
We are very excited to be launching the operations of our own biogas production plant this summer. With this significant, pioneering project our aim is to become energy self-sufficient. Our plant will be reusing our food waste as production energy. Additionally, the process will produce material which works as an excellent fertilizer for farms; from the field and back to the field. This is circular economy at its best!