“I Tried the $100 Million Dollar Vegan Chicken and Here’s What I Thought”
I had heard about an incredible new plant-based chicken that had raised $100 million in one fell swoop, from investors across the globe including Sir Paul McCartney, and I decided I had to try it. Tindle, made by Next Gen Foods, a Singapore based company that is taking the vegan chicken world by storm, was being served in a brioche sandwich at a local vegan bakery called Just What I Kneaded in Central LA, so I headed over there to see what all the fuss (and investment) was about.
Newly launched, Tindle is described as “chicken, made from plants that taste unbelievably like chicken from birds..” It is made from 9 simple and non-GMO ingredients but does contain soy and gluten. Tindle is mostly being sold at restaurants, so I decided to try it at Just What I Kneaded in Los Angeles, the popular vegan bakery that's known for its amazing bread.
The total investment in the new vegan chicken product, even before it had been widely introduced in America, is above $130 million, a big bet for any new vegan meat alternative, much less one that is only focused on chicken, and only available at limited outlets as of now.
"I tried the new vegan chicken and here's what I thought"
Served as The Liz Bird sandwich, the fried Tindle “chicken” patty comes tucked inside their warm brioche bun, atop a bed of cabbage slaw, vegan mayo, honey mustard, and topped with homemade dill pickle slices. It was the closest thing to chicken I had ever experienced in a vegan chicken alternative. The texture, flavor, and appearance were remarkably chicken-like. What’s more surprising is that you can mold Tindle vegan chicken into any desired shape, just like a real chicken patty, making it a versatile chicken alternative for nuggets, or any other dish.
The first Tindle product (the company spells it TiNDLE) was the TiNDLE Thy, an alternative to chicken thighs. The vegan chicken alternative is made of soy, wheat, oat fiber, coconut oil and methylcellulose, a culinary binder. Next Gen Foods says that it has a proprietary blend of plant-based fats like sunflower oil, and natural flavors that make Tindle so similar in taste to chicken, and allows it to cook just like chicken meat.
Tindle is more sustainable than chicken from birds, since on average, chicken made from plants uses less land, less water, and produces less CO2 than chicken from birds, the website states. Their source is Blue Horizon's 2020 “Environmental Impacts Of Animal And Plant-Based Food” Report. Plant-based chicken uses 74 percent less land, 88 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions and 82 percent less water than chicken requires.
So where can you try Tindle?
It's available at restaurants like the Grey Dog and Settepani in New York and several places in LA as well as throughout the world in cities like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi, and you can find locations on the Tindle website. If you want to make it yourself you can also buy Tindle online through Gold Belly's website, distributing from Motel Fried Chicken.