TiNDLE, the plant-based chicken brand launched by Singapore’s Next Gen Foods, has just rolled out in the UAE for the first time. Debuting on menus across 8 restaurant brands with nearly 20 outlets across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Fujairah, it marks the first time TiNDLE will be served outside of Asia as part of Next Gen’s global expansion.
Next Gen’s plant-based chicken alternative TiNDLE is now being served in the Middle East for the first time, launching across 20 outlets in the UAE. From Thursday (September 16), TiNDLE will be featured in everything from Moroccan-style tajine to classic American sliders, dished up by 8 F&B brands in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Fujairah that have partnered with Next Gen for the launch.
It marks the first time that diners outside of Asia will get a taste of TiNDLE, which is currently available at around 100 locations in Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau. Next Gen first teased the launch last month, when it announced that the Middle East and the US would be its next destination.
Middle East debut
Among some of the restaurants set to showcase TiNDLE dishes this month include Dubai’s At.Mosphere, Akira Back, and Bite Me Burger; La Brioche in Abu Dhabi and Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort in Fujairah.
Explaining the decision to enter the UAE as its first stop outside Asia, Next Gen co-founder and CEO Andre Menezes cited the country’s reputation as a “foodie haven” as a perfect match for the company’s gastronomy-first strategy for TiNDLE—debuting its product in collaboration with top chefs and restaurants rather than in retail.
“The UAE has become one of the world’s top restaurant destinations, with a cosmopolitan mix of international influences and globally savvy chefs who love to experiment,” said Menezes. “As the world begins to open up, people are venturing out to celebrate and socialize—and they’re looking for a big upgrade from boring chicken.”
Diners can expect delicious chicken-free dishes such as crispy chicken sliders at Zero Gravity, to Moroccan tajine and “bang bang” salad made with TiNDLE, which will be served at Jumeirah Beach Hotel’s FIKA restaurant.
“[It’s] versatile and full of flavour,” shared Jumeirah Beach Hotel’s executive chef Sebastien Torres, who has crafted four new dishes with FIKA head chef Foued Fahem. “It was clear that we had to have this chicken made from plants on the FIKA menu.”
TiNDLE vegan chicken
Next Gen’s plant-based chicken analogue, which it says had been developed together with chefs and for chefs, is made from just 9 ingredients in total, such as non-GMO soy and wheat protein, and sunflower oil.
Nutritionally, each 100-gram serving of TiNDLE boasts 17 grams of protein, comparable to the real deal, while lowering the environmental footprint to a fraction of conventionally farmed meat.
“TiNDLE is a new canvas for cooking — it’s better than chicken,” shared Giovanni Ledon, head chef at Akira Back Dubai, who has crafted a Korean and Japanese-inspired Toban-yaki dish featuring the plant-based chicken alternative together with chojang miso and mushrooms.
As Next Gen continues with its Middle East expansion, the company will be working with Classic Fine Foods to distribute TiNDLE and bring the more sustainable and healthier analogue to diners across the region.
Gearing up for the US
With the UAE under its belt, Singapore’s Next Gen is now eyeing the US market as the next stage of its international expansion. Fuelled by its record-breaking $10 million seed round earlier this year, the company is growing its team, most recently welcoming industry veterans including former Givaudan executive Alex Ward as COO, ex-Temasek director Rohit Bhattacharya as CFO and Charlotte Teo, previously with J&J, as its global marketing director.
The US is the biggest plant-based market globally, with vegan food sales in retail channels alone doubling to $7 billion in 2020—and as the economy reopens from the pandemic, it is likely that the demand will too be felt in restaurants and foodservice.
“We are now accelerating our global expansion,” said Menezes, at the time of announcing the firm’s Middle East entry. “[We are] recruiting a great team, and bringing on an ecosystem of partners will set the foundations for our US strategy. This will develop our understanding of consumer expectations and demand and deliver a superb launch for TiNDLE in the US.”
All images courtesy of Next Gen Foods.