DETROIT – Next Gen Foods has named former Tesla and Impossible Foods executive Rachel Konrad as its first independent board member. Konrad grew up in Grosse Pointe and spent five years working for the Detroit Free Press in the 1990s.

“We can’t solve our planet’s climate and extinction crises without radical changes to the food system — including a rapid shift away from animal agriculture,” said Konrad, who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and serves as an advisor and board member for companies aiming to solve global warming. “Next Gen Foods’ leadership team stands out for its passion and ambition to develop food that represents a categorical upgrade from Old Meat — and the company’s first product is an absolute blast to cook.”

Rachel Konrad

Konrad joins Next Gen Foods as it quickly expands its leadership bench. Earlier this year, the company hired Chief Operating Officer Alex Ward (formerly head of Asia-Pacific innovation at Givaudan) and Chief Financial Officer Rohit Bhattacharya (former Director of Enterprise Development at Temasek).

Konrad shares her career journey, passion for impactful food production, reasons for joining Next Gen Foods and why Singapore is poised to lead in the food innovation industry in this special fireside chat between Rachel and Manisha Tank, one of Next Gen Foods’ key investors. Listen to the episode here.

Next Gen Foods, aims to make the global food system sustainable and significantly improve public health by making delicious, nutritious meat from plants. The company’s first product — TiNDLE plant-based chicken — contains no antibiotics, hormones, cholesterol or genetically modified ingredients.

The product has already become a critically acclaimed success among discerning chefs and food connoisseurs in Asia and the Middle East. TiNDLE — which can transform into nearly any type of chicken dish, from Pad Thai to tacos — debuted earlier this year and is now served in more than 100 restaurants in Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau and the UAE.

Konrad joins Next Gen Foods after more than a decade reporting to visionary CEOs at some of the most mission-driven and disruptive companies on Earth.

Most recently, she spent five years as Chief Communications Officer at Impossible Foods. From 2011-2016, she was head of communications and marketing at the global car group Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance in Paris, France.. Before that, she was Director of Communications at Tesla in both the United States and Europe. She also covered technology for CNET in the Bay Area.

She has degrees in history and journalism from Northwestern University and was a Pew Fellow at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

“We were looking for a board member and mentor who has been through hypergrowth scaleup and is passionate about making the global food system sustainable. We also wanted someone whose international experience matches that of our multicultural leadership team,” said Next Gen Foods’ Co-Founder and CEO Andre Menezes. “Rachel will help us accelerate our expansion to every major market globally — with our flagship product and many others to follow. And I know we’ll all have a ton of fun together.”

Konrad joins Next Gen Foods’ existing board members, including:

  • Timo Recker (Co-Founder & Chairman)
  • Andre Menezes (Co-Founder & CEO)
  • Rohit Bhattacharya (CFO)
  • Eddy Ho (Director of Enterprise Development, Temasek)
  • Meng Xiong Kuok (Founder & Managing Partner, K3 Ventures)

Next Gen Foods was founded in 2020 by Brazilian-born poultry exporter and food industry expert Andre Menezes, and German native Timo Recker, whose family business made schnitzel and other meat products for three generations.

After a chance meeting at a business incubator camp, they decided to work on products that reduce humanity’s reliance on animal agriculture, which is making people sick and accelerating global warming. They named their first product TiNDLE as an irreverent mashup of 19th-century Irish physicist John Tyndall, the first to prove the connection between atmospheric CO2 and the greenhouse effect, and the wildly popular app used by millions of socially active people worldwide.

Next Gen Foods is funded by a $30 million investment from Asian and American venture capitalists — the largest initial round ever for a plant-based food startup. Global celebrities — including English footballer Dele Alli and business guru Chris Yeh — are also investors.

The company is using their seed round investment to fuel global growth and increase the pace of hiring. Next Gen Foods, which currently employs 30 people, is actively recruiting mission-oriented people for more than 50 job openings worldwide, including at least 40 positions in the United States.

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