The SoftBank-backed group plans to roll out its burger patty and other propriety products into retail and direct-to-consumer (DTC) channels by the end of the year, and is in talks with supermarkets in the US and UK about stocking its range.
As part of its rollout plans, the group is expanding its food technology division with the establishment of two new innovation centres in Chelsea and Manhattan.
James Skidmore, previously CEO at Hain Daniels and responsible for Linda McCartney Foods, has been appointed to Neat’s advisory board to help meet the expected growing demand for its products.
Neat Burger plans to use the innovation centres to develop the taste and consistency of current menu items, including its plant-based chicken alternative patty, hot dog, nuggets and shakes and new product innovation. It says it will be using food technology techniques and ingredients to develop 'what is in effect the 3.0 version of plant-based food'.
“Demand for plant-based products is outpacing all other food categories,” says Zack Bishti, co-founder and CEO of Neat Burger.
“We want to make them part of people’s everyday lives – and not just vegans, but people who want to eat less meat overall because it’s better for their health and better for the environment.”
The products planned for Neat Burger's move into retail and DTC will cover both fresh and ambient formats. All of its plant-based products are suitable for vegans and are allergen and GMO-free.
“We are the only plant-based food group with restaurants at our heart, and armed with customer feedback our in-house food tech team are able to control all aspects of the development and production process,” adds Bishti.
Established in 2019, Neat Burger now has eight locations and plans to double its UK footprint by the end of 2022.
Investors include Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton; Anthony Di Iorio, co-founder of cryptocurrency Ethereum; and Wellness Holding, which owns the fitness equipment company Technogym.