Singapore’s Next Gen Foods has spoken with vegconomist previously about its plant-based TiNDLE chicken and plans for widespread expansion. Since our last chat, the brand has appointed Rachel Konrad, previously of Impossible Foods and Tesla, so it was time to catch up again and find out more from Andre Menezes about Next Gen’s plans in the US market.
What is your strategy for the US market?
We’ve been a global company since day one and our strategy has fundamentally incorporated the USA market since the beginning. We’re targeting top cities, the best chefs, and the hottest restaurants consumers love to visit. Because of our versatile product line and connections with world-renowned culinary talent, we’re confident we’ll stand out from other plant-based protein competitors during our first phase of entry.
“We’re positive that TiNDLE will be a game changer”
The reception from chefs and from early consumer tests here in the U.S. has been outstanding. Americans want food that’s nutritious, delicious, and sustainable, and we’re positive that TiNDLE will be a game-changer.
Tell us about your launch product
Our flagship TiNDLE product, TiNDLE Thy, will be the first one selling in the U.S. Made with only nine simple ingredients, we developed a product that emulates what people love about chicken without any hormones, antibiotics and cholesterol from avian-based meat. TiNDLE was created by chefs, for chefs. Unlike other pre-packaged plant-based products, TiNDLE is designed to be malleable – like Play Doh – allowing chefs to imagine and create endless culinary possibilities, from crispy chicken sliders to traditional Japanese toban-yaki-style chicken.
“TiNDLE is designed to be malleable – like Play Doh”
TiNDLE has already become a favorite among Michelin-star chefs and rising culinary leaders in Asia and the Middle East. We can’t wait to see what chefs come up with here in the U.S. and we encourage our chef partners to think big and push boundaries.
How big is your launch team in the USA?
We are working with great business partners here helping us scale the team, and we expect to cross the 50-person mark in the U.S. before the end of 2022. In the past quarter, we’ve hired Alex Ward as Chief Operating Officer (formerly head of regional innovation – APAC for Givaudan ), Rohit Bhattacharya as Chief Financial Officer (former director at Temasek), Charlotte Teo as Global Marketing Director (former marketing lead at Johnson & Johnson), and Rachel Konrad as the first independent member of the board of directors (formerly head of communications at Tesla and Impossible Foods).
Where do you want to be in five years?
TiNDLE has what it takes to displace a good portion of chicken from birds from menus and shelves, and we will work diligently to do that as fast as possible. We’ll start with a focus on food services, enabling great chefs and restaurants in urban cities across the US to offer innovative, delicious and sustainable plant-based chicken dishes on their menus. Looking ahead, we’ll continue to develop our technology, expand on product diversification, and will gradually evolve to other channels and build our retail footprint.
In which other international markets will you be launching soon?
We designed an innovative, scalable and global business model since day one and are relentless in execution. This has allowed us to expand to six cities, many of them in different countries, across APAC and the Middle East. We’re continuing our international expansion at a very accelerated pace and TiNDLE is now available in Kuala Lumpur as of mid-October! In the long term, we plan to have production partners in the U.S., along with Europe, China and Brazil.