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Neat Food founder describes plant-based product as ‘Burger 3.0’

Tommaso Chiabra, chairman and co-founder of Neat Food Co., describes how his company's meatless burger stands out in the plant-based food industry.

Video Transcript


- Oscar winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio and F1 legend Lewis Hamilton both believe the future of meat is neat. The plant based burger joint has recently come to New York. And the burgers made it here to our studio. Joining us from the UK is Tommaso Chiabra, Neat Food Co-founder and Chairman. Nice to see you, Tommaso. Before we get into the business model, just tell me what I'm about to eat because I've never had anything plant based burger.

TOMMASO CHIABRA: But first of all, I challenge you to recognize that this is a plant based burger and not a real burger. And what are you eating really is a burger at 3.0, where we are inserting super food. We have a clean label mandate, where it's a pre-protein based. And with our delicious and secret formula, of course. So I'll let you judge by yourself.

- I'm nervous, brother. I'm going to take a bite and let the ladies take over.

- So Tommaso, I want to ask you in terms of where this idea came from, when you look at what's already in the market, how did you see this really making its own path here?

TOMMASO CHIABRA: Well, I think that what was missing in the market till we came to the market is really the approach to the consumer. The educational part where there is a lot of people that are still skeptical about eating different and changing their diet. And we are in a mission of convincing people with the easiest step as possible. So Neat Food is a virtual integrated food alternative protein producers, which at the basic of it, is the restaurants part, which is Neat Burger branded. And with our outlet, let's say, we invite people to come and try the experience of become flexitarian. And hopefully, and our data are showing, we are retaining a lot of people that are coming back very satisfied from their first experiences.

- Tommaso, this is Emily here. I just took a bite of your Neat burger. And I have to say, pretty good. Pretty close to the real thing in my personal opinion. I am already a fan of the plant based substitutes for burgers. So I'm wondering, how do you think about the competition between companies like Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, some who are also in this category here?

TOMMASO CHIABRA: Absolutely. But no one of the ones you just mentioned have a B2C dialogue with the restaurant experience, with our brick and mortar stores, which are the boutique and the flagship of our brand. With our virtual dining, which we [INAUDIBLE] partnership we distribute a lot of virtual experience and delivery. We were voted number two years in a row the best delivery vegan product in the UK. So you can expect all that, which impression we leave to a consumer that then they want to buy the product in the supermarkets to bring home after having that positive experience.

- What do you make, Tommaso of Beyond Meat? Now, they're a public company, you are a private company, of them falling below their 2019 IPO in terms of the environment and the success that they've found. And by the way, it is very good. This is the first I've ever had and I'm already halfway through it. It's very good. Well done.

TOMMASO CHIABRA: I'm glad that we have as a consumer now. But Beyond Meat, there is a lot of challenge in. I mean, I was an investor privately. I was one investor in Beyond Meat when it was private. So I know quite well the company. Now, there is a challenge in the space in general. Beyond Meat, a lot of their revenue was in food services space. And as you know, during pandemic a lot of the food services didn't do too well.

On top of it, there is a lot of the continent they have approached that still didn't really adopt the plant based space yet. So the problem there is some disappointment projection. But overall, the business is growing. The space is growing. So I trust that the company and the stock will do well, as do all markets share of the plant based and alternative protein space will do.

- For Neat Food, you have plant based burgers, chicken sandwiches like the one that I have right here if you can see that here, and hot dogs as well as bowls. But are there any other form factors for plant based products that you're planning on expanding into?

TOMMASO CHIABRA: Absolutely. We didn't launch in the U.S. yet, but we have a UK our plant based fish, which is made the palm heart. And we are planning to launch, this is still on disclosure, the first one to know, a plant based lobster roll, which is still unseen.

- Well, I do like the sound of that. I do want to ask you obviously it could be hard to break out from the noise here. How are you picking the markets that you're targeting?

TOMMASO CHIABRA: Well, I think that we like the challenges. So we like to choose the difficult market before and the competitive market before and then to expand in the easier ones. So we started off UK and then now in New York. Where New York is the capital of fast casual and food and food traffic. So we really want to win the community there before expanding in other cities.

UK and U.S. will be our corporate focus countries. And then we will be franchising in secondary country, which will be announced very soon because we have some new country that has signed franchised and we'll launch very, very soon.

- All right. Tommaso Chiabra, Neat Food Co-founder and Chairman, thank you so much. And thank you for letting us taste test some of your product.