Neat Burger Opens First US Location With Assist From Leonardo DiCaprio

Subsequent month, vegan burger chain Neat Burger will open its first United States location within the Nolita neighborhood of New York Metropolis. Based in 2019 in London, United Kingdom with assist from world champion race automobile driver Lewis Hamilton, the store serves typical fast-food fare made vegan, together with plant-based cheese burgers, hen burgers, scorching canines, mac and cheese, tater tots, and milkshakes, together with youngsters’ meals. 

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After securing a strategic funding from actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio, Neat Meals Co. (NEAT)—which encompasses each the burger idea and a retail model—is embarking on its enlargement to the US with key hires who will assist the vegan burger chain and plant-based meat enterprise get its foothold stateside. Final 12 months, the corporate appointed Vincent Herbert, the previous CEO of Le Ache Quotidien, as Chief Govt of Neat Burger USA. Moreover, Jeffrey S. Fried (former Chairman of Sweetgreen) and Henrik Fjordbak (former COO at Joe & The Juice) joined the model’s advisory board to propel it ahead in attaining its earth-saving mission. 

“We’re on a mission to basically change how the world consumes protein and are excited to announce these new appointments whose experience will make an actual impression,” Zack Bishti, co-founder and CEO of Neat Burger, mentioned in an announcement. 

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“With Jeff and Henrik’s success in nurturing industry-leading manufacturers, and Vincent’s prowess in delivering international enlargement, we now have a powerhouse staff primed for explosive entry into new markets; to shift shopper conduct and be a pressure for good.”

Lewis Hamilton’s vegan activism

Hamilton went vegan in 2017 and makes use of his immense fame to advertise animal-rights and social justice points, typically taking to social media to induce followers to go vegan. Hamilton additionally places his cash the place his mouth is by investing in vegan companies, together with The Not Firm—a Chilean vegan startup that raised $235 million in funding final 12 months with assist from Hamilton and musical artist Questlove.  

In 2019, Hamilton’s funding in NEAT—created in collaboration with hospitality group The Cream Group and Past Meat investor Tommaso Chiabara—supplied the corporate with key funding to get it off the bottom. Neat Burger opened its flagship location in Central London in 2019 earlier than increasing to second and third areas within the Camden and Soho neighborhoods, respectively. The model grew shortly and in 2021, after securing an extra $7 million in a funding spherical led by SoftBank’s Rajeev Misra, introduced huge enlargement plans that convey extra areas to its home market—together with via 20 “ghost” kitchens—and take it international, beginning with the US.   

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By 2030, NEAT plans to develop to 1,000 corporately owned, franchise, and darkish kitchens. It is usually working to convey next-level plant-based meat alternate options made with healthful elements—reminiscent of its grain mixture of quinoa, chickpea, and mung beans—to the retail sector. 

“By 2040 we see a world the place various proteins have changed animal proteins utterly,” Chiabra mentioned in an announcement. “NEAT is main the cost within the growth of those alternate options that not solely fulfill the wants of acutely aware customers, however that additionally ship on taste. We’re right here to show that the simplest alternative can be your best option for the planet.”

Vegan burger retailers within the US

Neat Burger’s enlargement to the US comes at a time when homegrown vegan fast-food chains start their very own expansions to serve an growing demand for plant-based meals—a market {that a} latest synthetic intelligence-driven report by Tastewise estimated to be price $74 billion by 2027.

Vegan chain PLNT Burger—owned by celeb chef Spike Mendelsohn of High Chef fame—opened its first NYC location within the Union Sq. neighborhood final 12 months earlier than increasing to Boston. Canada’s Odd Burger—the primary publicly traded vegan fast-food chain—can also be eyeing an NYC location with plans to function 50 North American areas by 2029. 

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On the West Coast, San Diego’s Plant Energy Quick Meals is increasing up the coast with areas in Los Angeles, Fountain Valley, and Sacramento, together with its first out-of-state location in Las Vegas, NV. Oregon’s natural vegan fast-food pioneer Subsequent Stage Burger can also be within the midst of a multi-state enlargement. 

And conventional fast-food giants aren’t sitting idly by, with McDonald’s working with Past Meat to develop plant-based choices globally via its McPlant platform; Burger King testing meatless pop-up areas around the globe; and Taco Bell testing vegan meat stateside.

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