Vegan chicken maker Tindle will use $100 million in funding to raise and lower costs for consumers

Next Gen Foods, the food tech startup that makes plant-based chicken brand Tindle, will use the $100 million Series A funding it recently raised to grow its business and cut consumer costs of meat substitute, its principal says the operations officer.

“We are really [almost] price par with chicken already, and that’s before we’ve even scaled the business. As we expand the manufacturing and supply of key ingredients, the price will come down to the chicken level – maybe even lower,” said Alex Ward. The National in an interview.

The company plans to add manufacturing units through the establishment of a global research and development center in Singapore, where it is based, Ward said on the sidelines of the inaugural Food For Future summit at Expo 2020. of Dubai on Thursday.

The global market size for chicken – the most consumed meat in the world – was estimated at $196 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $207.6 billion in 2027, according to Research and Markets.

Global retail sales of plant-based food alternatives, meanwhile, are expected to reach $162 billion by 2030, or 7.7% of the projected $2.1 trillion protein market, according to Bloomberg. Intelligence. The Asia-Pacific region is expected to be the biggest market for these products, where sales could reach nearly $65 billion by 2030, up from $13.5 billion in 2020, he added.

“Plant-based meat accounted for just 0.3% of total meat sales in 2020, but growth is accelerating as products become more widely available, consumer awareness increases, prices fall and that perceived health and durability attributes are gaining traction,” Bloomberg Intelligence said. in a November report.

Currently, Europe is the largest market for plant-based foods and is expected to remain so for the next three to four years, according to data provider GlobalEdge.

The global vegan food market is expected to be valued at over $22 billion in 2025, up 37.5% from $16 billion in 2021, predicts Statista.

Next Gen launched the Tindle brand in Singapore last year, then rolled it out to the territories of Macau and Hong Kong and the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. It began retailing in the United Arab Emirates in September, with its products now available at 16 locations in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, including Expo 2020, according to its website.

Ward said Next Gen will immediately focus on North America, one of the world’s largest markets for herbal products. The company is looking to sign distribution deals to gain access to the continent’s vast restaurant industry, he said.

It is also targeting expansion in China, Brazil and some European markets, while increasing investment in the markets in which it operates.

The planned R&D center in Singapore will focus on protein research and will be a “significant investment” for Next Gen, Ward said.

“While we expand the market as a way to grow our business, expanding the product line is the other way to grow it and get a bigger share of restaurant menus,” he said. .

We are really [almost] price par with chicken already…as we adapt the manufacture and supply of key ingredients, the price will come down to chicken level – maybe even lower

Alex Ward, COO of Next Gen Foods

Mr. Ward also disagreed with the idea that plant-based foods are premium products. More players entering the market will help lower prices for consumers, he said, pointing to the success of Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, which pioneered the food-based industry. large-scale plants.

“If you look at restaurants today, [plant-based foods are] at a price very similar to good quality meat,” he said. If there are enough brands to meet demand, there may not even be a need for farming techniques to produce low-quality chicken meat, he added.

Total funding for Next Gen now exceeds $130 million, including a $30 million seed round in July of last year. Its Series A round is the largest in the plant-based food startup scene and has seen the participation of new international investors including Indonesia-based Alpha JWC, Singapore-based EDBI and London-based MPL Ventures.

Some of its existing investors also participated in the round, including Singapore’s Temasek through its new sustainable food platform in Asia, GGV Capital, K3 Ventures and Bits x Bites.

Updated: February 26, 2022, 4:30 a.m.

Virginia C. Taylor