TiNDLE, the vegan chicken brand developed by Singapore’s Next Gen Foods, has made its first debut in the US with a preview at the New York City Wine and Food Festival. Showcased for a limited-time, the “sneak peek” gives US diners a chance to taste the plant-based chicken before it hits restaurants officially in 2022.
TiNDLE has just landed in New York for a limited time during the New York City Wine and Food Festival (NYCWFF) held between October 14 to 17. Lucky diners at the event will be able to taste the vegan chicken analogue for the first time, with the preview marking Singapore-headquartered Next Gen’s debut in the US market.
Chef Rocco DiSpirito introduces TiNDLE to the US
The Singapore startup has chosen to partner with American TV celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito to debut its plant-based chicken at NYCWFF. DiSpirito has crafted a number of dishes inspired by various cuisines, to showcase the versatility of the analogue. Some of these dishes include Chicken Parm Sliders and Lotus Leaf Bao.
Held over four days, NYCWFF this year will raise money for food banks across America to support populations affected by the pandemic, food poverty and other health and sustainability-related crises.
Aside from kickstarting TiNDLE’s US preview, the award-winning chef will also be joining Next Gen as one of its key culinary advisors and consultants, as the startup continues with its gastronomy-first approach to market—prioritising foodservice launch before entering retail channels, a strategy one report has credited for Impossible Foods and Oatly’s rapid global success and strong fanbase.
“I share Next Gen Foods’ commitment to making delicious, healthy and sustainable foods, and as a chef, I’m always on the hunt for breakthrough ingredients with a mission,” shared DiSpirito. “TiNDLE’s ability to morph into different cuisines and plant-based ingredients is game changing. In my role as culinary advisor, I can’t wait to connect with other chefs as it takes the plant-based world by storm.”
TiNDLE is created with just nine ingredients in total, all 100% plant-based, such as non-GMO soy and wheat protein, and sunflower oil.
Landing across US restaurants in 2022
After a “sneak peek” at NYCWFF, Next Gen says that it plans to begin rolling out TiNDLE across American restaurants by 2022. It is currently working alongside restaurants in “key markets” in the US to test, try and develop new dishes with chefs’ “personal flair”.
“We’ve been receiving excellent feedback from chefs and diners in Asia and the Middle East. It’s the perfect time to land in the United States in the midst of the nation’s growing love for simple, plant-based food,” said Next Gen co-founder and CEO Andre Menezes. “Americans want food that’s nutritious, delicious and sustainable, and we’re positive that TiNDLE will be a great match.”
The US market represents one of the most lucrative opportunities for the Singapore startup to capitalise on, with the country’s vegan retail sales alone growing double-digits in a year to top $7 billion in 2020. With the economy reopening from the pandemic in 2021 and 2022, the rising plant-based demand is likely to affect the foodservice industry as well.
Accelerating global expansion
Next Gen, fuelled by record funding from players like Temasek, K3 Ventures, and English footballer Dele Alli, says it wants to speed up its global expansion and pace of hiring as it plans for its upcoming US launch.
It has already added high-profile hires including former Givaudan executive Alex Ward as its COO, as well as ex-Temasek director Rohit Bhattacharya as CFO, and Charlotte Teo, previously with J&J, as its global marketing director.
Most recently, the Singapore food tech made headlines for appointing Rachel Konrad to its board. Konrad was the CCO of Impossible Foods for five years, during which the food tech company experienced explosive international growth, and previously also led communications for names like Tesla and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi.
At the time, Menezes commented that Konrad’s decades-long experience would help pick up the pace of TiNDLE’s international growth plans, especially as it looks to capture North America.
All images courtesy of TiNDLE / Next Gen Foods.