Name: Fly By Jing
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Founded: February 2019
Founder(s): Jenny ‘Jing’ Gao
Social Media: 309 followers on Twitter, 13.1k followers on Instagram, 673 followers on Facebook
Industry: Global Spice Market
Size: $15.11B in 2017 (Source: Zion Market Research)
Future: $20.99B by 2024 (Source: Zion Market Research)
Fly By Jing has a wide range of seasoning mixtures and other condiments, prepped from ingredients directly sourced from the Chinese sub-province of Chengdu. These vegan and gluten-free condiments are made from all-natural, and sometimes rare, components – with no added MSG.
Founder Jenny Gao mentions in an interview with Radii that her recipes have an umami flavor, which is authentically created by adding mushrooms, kombu, and other spices.
Products listed on the Fly By Jing website range from Sichuan chili crisp to Zhong dumpling sauce and their prices start at $12. The startup even retails exclusive condiment sets that are usually purchased for gifting purposes.
Additionally, Fly By Jing offers free shipping within the U.S. for orders over $35.
Origin and Founding Team
Though Jenny Gao, Founder of Fly By Jing, had spent most of her formative life in the West, she has always been very proud of her Chinese-heritage. As told to GrubStreet, this native of Chengdu especially loved the region’s famous Sichuan food.
In 2014, driven by this appreciation of the Chinese gastronomic arts, Gao set up a fast-casual restaurant that served-up sustainable and modern Chinese fare. Though the restaurant received rave reviews from the urban Chinese consumers, within two years she had to shut shop owing to some disagreements with her business partner.
Building on her past experiences, Gao then went on to launch Fly By Jing, a Shanghai-based kitchen with Chinese sauces and food products.
“I started doing kind of Sichuan street food: very old, flavorful flavors inspired by a type of restaurant in Sichuan called ‘fly’ restaurants. These are sort of my first food memories,” said Gao to GrubStreet.
The Chengdu-native started with the vision of offering authentic Sichuan street food flavors to the world.
She began her venture at a small scale, by making the condiments in her kitchen. Then, in July 2018, Gao launched a funding drive. This ended up being one of the highest backed craft-food projects on Kickstarter, according to a blog post on Medium by Gao. What’s more, she even exceeded the funding goal by 350%.
With this capital in hand, Gao was able to scale Fly By Jing by setting up a production unit within a factory in rural Sichuan.
Performance and Trends
In April 2019, Gao told Chowhound that Fly By Jing had sold 10,000+ bottles of condiments since its launch.
In the same year, the startup was accepted into the Techstars LA class of 2019.
According to an article in Fortune, Gao intends to expand the U.S. distribution of Fly By Jing in 2020. And the GrubStreet feature also mentions that Chinese tonics and broths are slated to be included in the Fly By Jing inventory – sometime in the future.
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