TiNDLE Foods to Preview Barista Oat Milk & Vegan Stuffed Chicken at Expo West

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Vegan food manufacturer TiNDLE Foods is set to unveil a plant-based stuffed chicken range and a barista oat milk – its first foray into dairy alternatives – at this month’s Expo West trade event.

A year on from acquiring London-based vegan dairy startup Mwah!, TiNDLE Foods will exhibit the first products born out of the deal at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California (March 14-16), alongside a new lineup of plant-based stuffed chicken products.

The Singapore-headquartered company is unveiling the new products after a big year, which saw it rebrand from Next Gen Foods, expand into US retail, and have a leadership shake-up, with co-founder and former CEO Andre Menezes passing the reins to fellow co-founder Timo Recker. In January, TiNDLE Foods debuted in Swiss retail as well – and now, it’s ready to showcase the innovations it has been working on.

“By introducing more innovative foods into the mix, including our launch into the dairy category, we remain steadfast in our mission to transition towards a more sustainable food system,” said Recker.

Stuffed chicken SKUs to debut on shelves in H2

tindle stuffed chicken
Courtesy: TiNDLE Foods | Composite by Green Queen

TiNDLE Foods’s range of stuffed chicken products at Expo West will feature Chicken Parmigiana and Garlic & Herb flavours. “From day one, we’ve been committed to delivering excellence when it comes to taste and quality with our products. We first launched TiNDLE Chicken in restaurants for this very reason – to be able to work closely with chefs and culinary experts to bring the best possible experience to customers,” JJ Kass, US managing director for the brand, tells Green Queen. “The stuffed chicken line is the next step in our journey to bring that chef-driven experience into people’s homes.”

She adds: “We are starting with a wholesome classic – chicken parmigiana – but there are endless opportunities for creative and seasonal fillings. With the growing trend of high-quality convenience meals in the frozen section, we feel this product is a game changer to have a restaurant-quality gourmet meal ready in the air fryer or oven in 10 minutes.”

TiNDLE chicken is made from a blend of soy protein, wheat flour and Lipi, a proprietary plant-based emulsion that mimics the functionality of chicken fat. The product has around 16g of protein and 4.5g of fibre per 100g. “Ingredients and fillings will vary based on the SKU,” says Kass. “For example, the outer coating of the chicken parmigiana is made of golden breadcrumbs that allow for a perfect crunch, while the interior features a savoury tomato sauce and gooey plant-based mozzarella.”

The new SKUs will be available for retailers to order in the spring, with the products expected on shelves in the second half of the year. TiNDLE Foods plans to release additional flavours too, such as Buffalo Ranch, Katsu Curry and Tikka Masala.

The company is also making good on its promise of bringing its locally produced breakfast sausage – which has been available at restaurants including Mr. Charlie’s in Los Angeles, and Neat and Vegan On the Fly in New York City – to the CPG world. They’re now available for retailers to order in savoury and spicy editions.

Barista oat milk part of multi-category superbrand aim

tindle oat milk
Courtesy: TiNDLE Foods | Composite by Green Queen

Perhaps the more striking launch is that of the barista oat milk, marking TiNDLE Foods’ entry into the dairy alternatives realm a year after its takeover of Mwah! “Our mission extends beyond plant-based chicken, as we’ve always intended to introduce multiple products across categories,” Recker tells Green Queen. “As a global company, we aim to be a multi-category ‘superbrand,’ as it’s important for us to offer foods that appeal to a wide set of consumers, while excelling when it comes to taste and quality.”

TiNDLE Foods will preview the premium oat milk at Expo West. It has been developed in collaboration with baristas internationally, who have helped fine-tune its steaming, frothing and blending capabilities. The result is a smooth and creamy milk that features an “exceptional stretch and beautiful microfoam”, which the company says rivals dairy.

While the alt-milk launch doesn’t come as a surprise – TiNDLE Foods has always alluded to a multi-category model – it does veer away from the brand’s initial concept for the product. In August, a representative had told Green Queen that the company wouldn’t limit itself to single-ingredient milks (like oat or soy milk). “Instead, our process will be focused on finding the best consistency, flavour, and overall experience – and exploring all types of plant-based ingredients – so it delivers on the same creaminess and taste of cow’s milk,” they explained.

“Our goal is to always look at what may be the right source for the right consistency and creaminess of the product being developed,” Recker says now, explaining why its first dairy alternative is an oat milk. “The Mwah! team’s expertise allowed us to create foods and beverages that emulate the same unique flavor and creaminess that comes from dairy, but using plant-based sources.”

The barista oat milk – whose primary ingredients include water, premium whole oats, sunflower oil and sea salt – is being developed in Italy. “We knew we could create a creamy and indulgent milk product that offered benefits consumers were looking for and may not be able to currently find – such as an oat milk that used pure, whole ingredients and minimal processing,” says Recker.

He adds that the use of whole oats creates “an excellent base in terms of function” and a wow factor for the high standards of baristas, with the product able to perform on par with cow’s milk in coffee. While launch details are under wraps, Recker hints it will be sometime later this year.

TiNDLE Foods also previewed its gelato tech at last year’s Expo West, followed by a market test in select London locations in the spring, which provided a better understanding of the market. “Because of our acquisition of plant-based dairy startup Mwah! last year, we have the R&D capabilities and innovation framework to develop a range of dairy products, including gelato,” Recker notes, before reiterating that the current focus is on the oat milk.

Luring non-dairy drinkers to meat alternatives

tindle chicken
Courtesy: TiNDLE Foods

Having raised over $130M to date, TiNDLE Foods – which makes chicken patties, wings, tenders and nuggets, as well as breakfast sausages – has now expanded its foodservice and retail footprint as well, with the US, the UK and Germany being its biggest markets.

Across each of these countries, the company witnessed a sales increase from 2022-23, which Recker ascribes to its retail launch and continued foodservice expansion. This bucked the wider trend among the plant-based meat industry, where giants like Beyond Meat and Quorn have struggled, and startups such as Nowadays, New Wave Foods and Ordinary Seafood have been forced to cease trading.

In the US, retail sales of plant-based meat dipped by 11% to just over $1B in the year ending January 28, 2024, while meat-free products were among the worst-performing grocery categories in the UK, with sales down by £38.4M. “The category is still young and, when compared to that of the animal agriculture and meat industry, it’s still in its infancy,” highlights Recker. “We’re looking to change consumer behaviour at the most emotional and engrained level – shifting daily patterns and eating habits to an entirely different system.”

Dairy alternatives similarly underwent a second consecutive year of decline, with sales volumes falling by 6.6% in the US, totalling 337.7 million gallons in 2023. “We want to be a growth driver for the category and bring consumers, who may be shopping in non-dairy, to plant-based meat,” says Recker. “There’s a great deal of potential to cross-promote between categories and to support our goal to transition to a more plant-based food system.”

He adds: “We need to be diligent as a company and as an industry in getting out the best products possible. So many of the existing products today don’t meet the criteria for consumers when it comes to taste and deliciousness, and so it is vital that we deliver on all of the benefits that animal-based meat can offer today, which include taste, quality, and ultimately lower prices.”


  • Anay Mridul

    Anay is Green Queen's resident news reporter. Originally from India, he worked as a vegan food writer and editor in London, and is now travelling and reporting from across Asia. He's passionate about coffee, plant-based milk, cooking, eating, veganism, food tech, writing about all that, profiling people, and the Oxford comma.

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