Plant-based Chicken: NX-Food invested food tech startup Next Gen expands in Asia

20 May 2021

Singapore-headquartered food tech startup Next Gen simultaneously expands to Hong Kong, Macau, and Kuala Lumpur. METRO AGs fine food specialist Classic Fine Foods, already its distributor for Singapore, is also distributing TiNDLE in these 3 cities, bringing its market knowledge, network, and profound understanding of consumer trends to the partnership.

TiNDLE expands in Asia
TiNDLE expands in Asia

Hong Kong is one of the great food hubs of Asia. Macau is a hugely popular tourist destination, especially for Mainland China. Kuala Lumpur has long been known for its excellent multicultural food culture. Next Gen’s plant-based chicken consumer brand “TiNDLE” will be available in these markets starting 24 June 2021.

TiNDLE in partnership with food service distributor Classic Fine Foods made its global debut in Singapore with 11 partner restaurants in March 2021 and has since then expanded to over 40 locations. The launch attracted huge attention, excitement from chefs and restaurants, and demand from consumers. Next Gen is now replicating its successful Singapore launch with an international expansion strategy.

"We are building a global foodtech business with strategies and models adopted from the technology sector. Our international expansion is driven by our asset-lite model, partner expertise, and funding resources, which collectively drive our operational scalability. These 3 cities mark the second phase of our plan, following our Singapore launch. Our third phase will see us laying the groundwork for further international markets expansion," said Andre Menezes, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder, Next Gen.

Classic Fine Foods is partnering the expansion. Headquartered in Hong Kong, the fine food specialist operates in 10 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, under the ownership of wholesale specialist METRO AG, which is also a Next Gen investor through innovation hub NX-Food.

“Classic Fine Foods has developed as the preferred go-to-market partner for the best plant-based brands. Our unique Asian multi-geography presence and deep understanding of the markets allow us to connect innovative brands with state-of-the-art chefs and help increase consumers’ interest and demand for this category. We are confident of bringing TiNDLE to our network as we see great potential for this unique product in Hong-Kong, Macau, Kuala Lumpur, and across many of the other markets we are present in,” said Christophe Barret, Chief Executive Officer, Classic Fine Foods.

The fine food specialist is accelerating the move towards plant-based proteins in gastronomy. Through their connection with the food service industry, Classic Fine Foods’ in-house chefs are working closely with restaurateurs to help create new, delicious dishes with TiNDLE, across multiple cuisine styles. By removing barriers to integrate innovative products on restaurants menus, Classic Fine Foods aims to be a key driver in getting consumers across Asia excited about TiNDLE.

On the Rise

Plant-based meat has seen strong demand in the West and is now gaining momentum in Asia. According to DuPont Nutrition &Biosciences, demand for plant-based products in Asia will surge over 200% in the next 5 years.

Euromonitor estimates China’s plant-based meat market to reach approximately US$12 billion by 2023. China also plans to reduce the nation’s meat consumption by 50% by 2030 in order to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. This has created a massive opportunity for plant-based meat consumption to grow in the coming years.