Next Gen Foods Names Chicago its U.S. Headquarters; Establishes new R&D and Innovation Center at The Hatchery
- The startup’s new Chicago R&D center located within the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago’s award-winning incubator, The Hatchery Chicago®, will serve as an innovation hub for developing and diversifying the complete TiNDLE product line, supporting the brand’s entrance into new sales channels
- The company appointed Chicago as the U.S. HQ to join a burgeoning presence of plant-based companies making a significant mark on the “meat-loving” city that’s served as the center of the American meatpacking industry since the 1800s
- Its flagship plant-based chicken product, TiNDLE, is expanding its availability in local Chicago restaurants
CHICAGO, IL – September 21, 2022 – Next Gen Foods, the makers behind TiNDLE, announces today its U.S. headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, furthering the company’s commitment to expansion across the U.S. market. The decision to set up roots in Chicago arrives in tandem with the food tech startup’s opening of its first-ever U.S.-based R&D and innovation center in partnership with one of America’s largest food business incubators, the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago’s (ICNC) The Hatchery Chicago®.
TiNDLE is the first chicken made from plants that was created specifically with chefs and by chefs — a versatile, easy-to-work-with product that delivers the unmistakable taste, texture and aroma of chicken that can be molded and designed to fit any cuisine. The new center at The Hatchery will serve as the starting point for product development designed to fit TiNDLE’s scaleup into new U.S. sales channels, including foodservice and retail.
As a facility for R&D and innovation, the center will also play home to early-stage exploration of new plant-based products from the Next Gen Foods team, leveraging insights from both consumers and operators to support the expansion of TiNDLE’s full product line. Behind the brand-new R&D facility is a team of food scientists, product innovation experts and culinarians, overseeing operations of the joint lab and test kitchen space inside The Hatchery – in conjunction with Next Gen Foods’ global R&D program and technology platform spread across the hubs in Singapore and Europe.
“As TiNDLE has experienced incredible, sustained growth in the past 15 months – much of it in the U.S. – now is the perfect time to solidify our presence here as we finalize our home base in Chicago. As a new resident myself, I’m constantly inspired by this city and the potential it holds for the future of the plant-based food industry, but also food innovation in general,” said Andre Menezes, CEO and co-founder of Next Gen Foods, the parent company behind TiNDLE. “We established Next Gen Foods with the mission to make saving the planet easy, enjoyable and delicious. By both geographically and strategically establishing a base in the center of the food world in Chicago, this will allow us to further develop our partnerships in the F&B community and strengthen consumer adoption of plant-based meats through ongoing research and development.”
“We are excited to welcome Next Gen Foods and TiNDLE to The Hatchery community,” said Natalie Shmulik, ICNC’s Chief Strategy and Incubation Officer. “This innovation company aligns with our mission, is driven by entrepreneurship, and seeks to create new job opportunities within the industry. We look forward to seeing the positive impact they will have in Chicago.”
Within the greater Chicago area, TiNDLE has become an emerging favorite amongst the local culinary scene. To date, TiNDLE is served in more than 15 locations around the city – all in just under six months. New partnerships include the Chicago Tribune food critic-approved Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat, Chicago’s viral hand-drawn comical two dimensional donut and chicken sandwich restaurant 2d Restaurant and plant-based restaurant pioneers Native Foods.
A full list of Chicago area restaurants serving TiNDLE include:
- 2d Restaurant
- PLT What-the-chicken sandwich: Crispy chicken sandwich made with TiNDLE plant-based chicken topped in a mochi donut bun topped with lettuce and tomato with Japanese mayo
- Hot What-the-chicken sandwich: Crispy chicken sandwich made with TiNDLE plant-based chicken in a macho donut bun, combined with 2d restaurant’s best-selling Seoul Rooster sandwich
- Japanese BBQ What-the-chicken sandwich: Crispy chicken sandwich made with TiNDLE plant-based chicken in a mochi donut bun with mouthwatering Japanese BBQ sauce with Japanese mayo and freshly shredded cabbage
- Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat
- The Big Nashville Chik’n Sandwich: Crunchy chik’n filet made with TiNDLE and topped with housemade Nashville sauce, cole slaw, pickles, and drizzled with spicy mayo
- Crispy Chik’n Club Sandwich: Crispy TiNDLE sandwich topped with lettuce, tomatoes, vegan bacon, sweet mustard, vegan mayo, and served with a bed of seasoned fries
- Buffalo Chik’n Wrap: TiNDLE buffalo chicken wrapped in a flour wrap, topped with green leaf lettuce, tomato, onions, ranch, buffalo sauce, and your choice of cheese
- Two Shades Café
- “Chicken” Sandwich: A TiNDLE plant-based chicken patty topped with swiss cheese, spicy mayo and dill pickles on a buttery brioche bun
- Parson’s Chicken & Fish
- Parson’s Not-Chicken Sandwich: Plant-based chicken patty in Parson’s signature buttermilk dredge, American cheese, garlic mayo, shredded lettuce, North Star pickles, Parson’s red hot sauce, Brioche bun
- Parson’s Hot Not-Chicken Sandwich: Plant-based chicken patty in Parson’s signature buttermilk dredge, American cheese, Parson’s yellow hot sauce, garlic mayo, shredded lettuce, North Star pickles, Parson’s red hot sauce, Brioche bun
- Deuce’s Major League Bar
- Jerk Ch*ken Sliders: Three TiNDLE plant-based ch*ken sliders, jerk BBQ sauce, grilled pineapples on a Hawaiian roll and served with fries
- Spicy Fried Chicken: Plant-based chicken patty tossed in buffalo served with lettuce, pickles, spicy mayo on a Brioche bun
- Native Foods
- Chicken Run Ranch: Crispy plant-based chicken, ranch dressing, tomato, red onions, mixed lettuce, whole wheat bun
- The Real Nashville Hot: Spicy fried plant-based chicken in Nashville hot sauce, Southern slaw, pickle chips, plant-based mayo, toasted hamburger bun
- Chicken, Bacon & Avo Club: Crispy herb-crusted plant-based chicken, plant-based bacon, avocado, chipotle sauce, mixed lettuce, tomato, red onions, toasted hamburger bun
- Buffalo Chicken Run Ranch: Crispy plant-based chicken in Buffalo sauce, ranch dressing, tomato, red onions, mixed lettuce, whole wheat bun
To order TiNDLE, restaurants can find the product through their local distributor or distributors nationwide can now exclusively order the product through DOT Foods – the largest food redistributor in America for over 60 years. In Chicagoland, TiNDLE is currently available for restaurants to order through Chefs Warehouse, Sysco, and US Foods.
TiNDLE is a juicy, plant-based chicken that offers mouthwatering taste, texture, and versatility – and uses a fraction of the land, water and energy needed to produce meat from birds. Made with only nine simple ingredients, TiNDLE is the first product by Next Gen Foods, a Singapore-founded food tech company that is developing and commercializing innovative and sustainable foods. Available in restaurants globally, TiNDLE is the first chicken made from plants designed by chefs and for chefs and is a winner of the National Restaurant Association’s 2022 Food and Beverage Innovation (FABI) Awards. For more information, visit tindle.com or follow @tindlefoods on Instagram and @tindle.foods on TikTok.
About Next Gen Foods
Founded in 2020, Next Gen Foods is a food-tech startup developing and commercializing innovative and sustainable plant-based food products — including its flagship product, TiNDLE. Next Gen Foods is backed by a team with proven experience in plant-based food technology, global brand development, and global distribution scaleup. For more information, visit nextgenfoods.sg.