Next Gen’s vegan chicken product Tindle just launched in Hong Kong and Macau and is coming soon to Kuala Lumpur, too.
Following its initial introduction to Singapore in March 2021, the plant-based chicken will soon be available at 19 additional restaurants across Hong Kong and Macau, including the 2-Michelin starred Bo Innovation, helmed by celebrity chef Alvin Leung.
Leung, a self-taught cook, has appeared as a judge on MasterChef Canada since its debut in 2014. He is known for his creation of boundary-pushing fusion cuisine, and Bo Innovation will be serving Tindle chicken in smoked Sichuan-style tacos.
Tindle is cholesterol-free and combines nine non-GMO plant-based ingredients, including soy and wheat, for 17g of protein per 100g. According to Singaporean food tech company Next Gen, the creator of Tindle, its flagship product also “delivers the same taste, texture, and aroma of the traditional chicken you love.”
“At Next Gen, we marry cutting-edge technology with a diversified network of specialists to create plant-based products that deliver delicious taste experiences,” said Timo Recker, co-founder and CEO of Next Gen and former CEO of German vegan meat brand, LikeMeat. “Our goal is to make the consumer forget why animals were ever needed in the first place!”
Prior to its introduction to Singapore, Next Gen raised US$10 million in a global record breaking seed round. It debuted at 11 restaurants across the island, and was welcomed by the owners and chefs partnered with the brand (many of whom are also Michelin starred).
In addition to Bo Innovation’s tacos, Tindle will feature in Brazilian-style wontons from Uma Nota, chicken and waffles from Big Birdy’s, Tsukune (Japanese meatballs) from Katsumoto Sando Bar, and porcini mushroom risotto from Cococabana.
The Secret of Tindle Vegan Chicken is… Lipi
Next Gen consulted with professional chefs to develop the flavor profile and fiber integrity of Tindle, as well as how the product performs in different recipes and with different preparation methods. One of the major selling points of the new protein is its versatility between cuisines, dishes, and individual chef’s cooking preferences.
The secret at the heart of Next Gen’s technology is Lipi: a proprietary ingredient that emulates the taste and aroma of traditional chicken—one of the most popular proteins in the world.
“In its simplest terms, Lipi is chicken fat but made from plants,” explained Recker. “Lipi is a proprietary emulsion of plant-based fat and natural flavors, and is what gives Tindle the distinctive taste, aroma, and cookability—particularly browning—of chicken.”
Global demand for animal-based chicken remains high, but factory farming and increasing agricultural pressure on ecological resources (and farm animals themselves) make this level of consumption unsustainable.
Plant-based and cell-based meat and dairy could provide a sustainable alternative to animal products with little change in diet or lifestyle. For example, Tindle emits 88 percent fewer greenhouse gases, uses 74 percent less land, and requires 82 percent less water than conventional chicken production.
Is Singapore Vegan Friendly?
Singapore, and the East Asia region in general, has a long history of meat-free dishes and ingredients. Recker highlights the role that religion and affordability play in this, with few traditional vegetarian options marketed directly to meat-eaters prior to the current boom.
According to YouGov SG, 39 percent of Singaporeans said that they identified as flexitarian in February 2020. A study carried out by the vegan app abillion and Enterprise Singapore reported that demand for plant-based pork and chicken overtook traditional beef from 2019 to 2020.
Research published recently by DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences predicts that key Asia-Pacific markets will grow up to 200 percent over the next five years, primarily driven by health concerns and food safety, but also influenced by sustainability and environmental issues.
“The new generation of meat-free options like Tindle is now gaining awareness and popularity in Asia, which makes it easier for everyone to reduce meat consumption without major compromises in terms of taste and texture,” said Recker.
In the coming years, Next Gen plans to raise Series A funding, diversify its product line, and continue expanding internationally. According to the founder, direct-to-consumer sales are a “definite” possibility for Tindle. “Our goal is to become the undisputed leader in plant-based chicken.”