Today, Next Gen Foods announces its acquisition of Mwah!, a new food startup producing creamy and indulgent dairy-inspired products from plants, following the recent expansion of TiNDLE. From March 9-11, attendees of the Natural Products Expo West show in Anaheim, California will be the first to try TiNDLE’s soon-to-be-released retail products, featuring recipes using Mwah!’s new plant-based gelato.
The acquisition of Mwah! is the first for Next Gen Foods who introduced TiNDLE – its ‘ridiculously good’ chicken made from plants – less than two years ago. The expansion into new categories that now include plant-based dairy and meat allows Next Gen to continue diversifying its product offerings, while meeting rising consumer demand for delicious, sustainable, and unique food experiences.
Next Gen Foods was founded in 2020 by Andre Menezes and Timo Recker, two veterans of the animal agriculture and plant-based food industries. The company believes that saving the planet can be easy and enjoyable – without sacrificing deliciousness. To date, Next Gen Foods has raised $130 million in funding centered on bringing TiNDLE to market and in under two years, TiNDLE’s presence has grown from only a handful of restaurants in Singapore to over 1,500 eateries and 6,000 grocery stores worldwide – including Michelin-starred establishments to fast casual chains and coveted independent restaurants. Last month, TiNDLE made its initial debut into grocery stores across Germany, launching with the country’s largest retailer, the EDEKA Group.
Innovation for the next generation
The Next Gen Foods platform was constructed to bring like-minded brands that deliver on quality taste and experiences to market, which includes popular categories such as dairy, seafood, and meat. The acquisition of Mwah! follows the company’s rapid expansion into the European and U.S. markets last year – allowing for growth in the plant-based market while sharing resources and assets to develop new products that meet consumer preferences worldwide.
Mwah! is a London-based company that is cracking the code on developing the creamiest and most indulgent dairy-inspired products – but without the use of animals. Through a carefully designed process that combines natural flavorings – along with selected plant-based proteins and lipids – the team can recreate the qualities of pure cream, which can then be applied to their complete portfolio of products. This unique process provides the memorable flavor of dairy and will serve as a foundation for all Mwah! products, including its newest plant-based gelato.
“We’re thrilled to be joining the Next Gen Foods family. We know they are the right company to help us expand and tap into the rising consumer desire for more innovations in taste and decadence from the dairy category,” shares Damian Piedrahita, CEO and Co-Founder at Mwah! “Our plans are to introduce our signature creamy and indulgent products this year – with our unique, best-in-class gelato experience – and looking forward to hearing feedback from dairy lovers everywhere.”
Mwah! is led by co-founders Damian Piedrahita, CEO, and Claudia Comini, Director of Operations, who both spent decades pushing boundaries in the hospitality industry. Piedrahita and Comini met as consultants for brands in the food & beverage and hospitality industries, before turning their focus to the plant-based food sector and working together on initial dairy prototypes that mirrored the creamy and luscious experiences – but with plant-derived ingredients. In early 2022, Mwah! closed its seed round, which was led by Next Gen Foods and raised more than $2 million to fund the development of the startup’s first plant-based dairy product, its signature gelato. Next Gen’s CEO, Andre Menezes, and CMO, Jean Madden, previously served as directors on the board at Mwah!, now introducing Piedrahita and Comini as full-time members of the Next Gen Foods team as part of the acquisition.
“When we started Next Gen three years ago, we knew that making a significant impact on the food system would require continuous development of delicious foods that consumers desired. This meant we needed to invest in R&D that would help us create products that would not only deliver on our promise to eliminate animal agriculture but also outperform on taste and experience,” says Andre Menezes, CEO and Co-Founder of Next Gen Foods. “By joining forces with Damian and Claudia at Mwah! and expanding our offerings in plant-based chicken category with TiNDLE, we’re committed to making sure that everyone can enjoy all the foods they already love.”
Chicken and ice cream: deliciousness on display
TiNDLE will be showcased at the annual Expo West this year, previewing its new range of plant-based chicken products – including Nuggets, Patties, Popcorn, Tenders, and Wings – designed to bring the same elevated restaurant experience into home kitchens. The brand is currently offering an early preview of select TiNDLE retail products in curated meal kits prepared by Chef Chad Rosenthal, available through his Motel Fried Chicken storefront on Goldbelly. Starting this month, residents in New York City and Miami can also find an early taste of TiNDLE’s retail line through a curated display at SHOWFIELDS – the popular lifestyle concept store that features mission-driven products, art, and events from coast to coast. Later this year, the brand plans to enter U.S. grocery stores with its full product range.
Mwah!’s first product is their Madagascan Vanilla Gelato, which mirrors the decadent and indulgent experience of classic gelato through plant-based ingredients. It is lactose-free and made with plant-based ingredients that include cashews, coconut oil, vegetable fibers, natural flavors, sugar, salt, and organic Madagascan vanilla. The plant-based gelato will be featured at Expo West alongside TiNDLE – a sweet tribute to the classic chicken and waffle dish, inspired by Chef Andrew Zimmern’s TiNDLE Waffles and Ice Cream recipe.
Beginning on March 15, Londoners can exclusively sample Mwah!’s Madagascan Vanilla Gelato for a limited time at Floozie Cookies, the sweets destination in Covent Garden helmed by Pastry Chef Kimberly Lin, and at the popular group of vibrant plant-based cafés, WAVE (We Are Vegan Everything). At Floozie Cookies, the “Cherry and Chocolate Hot Mess” features Mwah’s plant-based gelato – topped with a tangy black cherry compote – and flooded with Floozie’s signature hot chocolate and chocolate cookie crumbles. The WAVE team has crafted two special breakfast-inspired recipes: Mwah! Raspberry Pancakes (available at the Hackney location) and Mwah! Raspberry Waffles (available at the Stokey location). The fluffy, gluten-free pancakes and sourdough waffles are both topped with raspberries, golden syrup, cinnamon, rose petals and creamy Mwah! vanilla gelato. Mwah! plans to bring its plant-based gelato to additional restaurants later this year, partnering closely with dessert professionals and pastry chefs, before entering grocery stores in the future.
About Next Gen Foods
Founded in 2020, Next Gen Foods is a food tech startup developing and commercializing delicious, innovative, and sustainable plant-based food brands – including TiNDLE, chicken made from plants, and Mwah!, creamy and indulgent dairy-inspired products. Next Gen Foods is backed by a team with proven experience in plant-based food technology, global brand development, and distribution scaleup. For more information, visit nextgenfoods.sg.
TiNDLE is the leading plant-based chicken – offering the distinct aroma, taste, and texture of chicken and made with non-GMO 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 to make saving the planet easy, enjoyable, and delicious. For more information, visit www.tindle.com.
Founded in 2020, Mwah! is a food startup that creates creamy and indulgent dairy-inspired experiences, using plant-based ingredients. The London-based startup was founded by Damian Piedrahita and Claudia Comini, who met working in the food and beverage industry in Italy, and were frustrated by the lack of delicious, creamy plant-based options when it came to dairy foods. Mwah! was acquired in 2023 by Singapore-founded food tech company, Next Gen Foods. Mwah!’s first product is a creamy and decadent Madagascan Vanilla Gelato, made from plants, that mirrors the indulgent experience of classic gelato. For more information, visit eatmwah.com.