While the plant-based meat category is not short of startups promising to fix the broken food system, this is not the first rodeo for Andre Menezes and Timo Recker, who founded Next Gen Foods​ ​in April 2020 and have already launched products in multiple countries.

German native Recker, whose family business made schnitzel for three generations, had previously founded a successful meat alternatives business called LikeMeat in Germany (which he sold early last year), while Menezes – an engineer who hails from Brazil – was running Country Foods, one of the biggest food importers, distributors and processors in Singapore, when the two met in Singapore and hit it off.  

Lipi… tastes like chicken

Although it’s not quite as crowded as the plant-based beef market, the US plant-based chicken market is heating up rapidly, with legacy brands from Lightlife to Tofurky and Quorn now jostling for space with food tech brands such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods; CPG giants such as Nestlé, Conagra, Kellogg and Kraft Heinz; and a flurry of startups such as Nowadays, Rebellyous, Daring Foods, and SIMULATE.

However, there’s still room for new players with a differentiated product and a scalable supply chain, insists Menezes, who is giving US chefs a sneak peek of the firm’s TiNDLE​ plant-based chicken this week at The Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival​.

Made with texturized soy and wheat protein, Next Gen Foods’ flagship ingredient ‘lipi’ (an emulsion of sunflower oil and natural flavors boasting a distinct chicken-fatty-taste), coconut oil, methylcellulose, and oat fiber, TiNDLE is manufactured in the Netherlands, supplied frozen, and can work in a variety of dishes from butter chicken to nuggets, chicken sandwiches and tacos, Menezes told FoodNavigator-USA.