Chicken breasts are popular in the gym because of their low calorie count and high protein content. Another reason they are liked is their convenience, as it only takes 15 minutes to cook you well.
But for over-busy employees who still want to be fit and healthy, cooking can be a problem in itself.
Therefore, TearNEat wants to leverage this market for gym employees who need their protein fixation quickly and conveniently.
Everything in the name
The idea for TearNEat came about when its founder, Valen, hired his chef at The Pokemist to develop a ready-to-use chicken breast in his spare time, which he succeeded.
Valen then took it to the gym for a post-workout snack, which caught the attention of other athletes who wanted to get their hands on it too.
That was the push he and his partners needed to start this brand.
Eat it out of the box or in a wrap / Image Credit: TearNEat
TearNEat is a meal preparation company that supplies ready-to-eat chicken breasts that are pre-marinated and fully cooked so customers only need to reheat them and tear off the packaging before consumption.
Think of this like a protein bar that contains essentially 100 grams of pure lean meat. Because of its small size, customers can also carry it around in their work, gym or handbag.
Don't run away
Much like most F&B companies facing the initial challenge of getting their name known with limited resources, the team addressed this by getting into DMs.
The team reached out to Instagram fitness influencers individually by posting them on Instagram to introduce the TearNEat brand and giving them free samples to try.
To their surprise, most influencers came back with an interest in working with the brand.
Valen then scheduled meetings so he could better explain the brand's goals and objectives.
Since launching in August this year, TearNEat has sold around 3,000 pieces of chicken breasts in its first month and is now growing steadily with the hope of selling 10,000 pieces per month.
Chicken breasts are frozen to ensure freshness throughout delivery / Photo credit: TearNEat
However, it's worth noting that TearNEat was able to achieve this number of sales because of the way they sell their products. There is a minimum order of 10 pieces at a time which will cost you RM180.
Compare that to buying raw vegetables at the grocery store, where you could get a 2kg pack of frozen chicken breasts for RM 25, and RM 18 for a single chicken breast seems like a stretch for an average consumer.
For Valen, however, their pricing structure is justified when compared to a restaurant where you would spend money on a main course in this area.
"Of course, when you compare self-prep to buying our chicken breasts, the numbers show that it's not cost-effective," he said.
"On the other hand, people who buy our products usually have very busy schedules and don't know how to make their chicken breast that doesn't taste like dried meat."
For this reason, TearNEat products are marinated with local flavors such as Sichuan Mala, Spicy Paprika or BBQ for flavor and moisture.
Each chicken breast is individually wrapped / Photo credit: TearNEat
Since the chicken is already fully cooked, customers only need to follow the product's directions to heat it up by roasting, sous vide, or microwaving it so it doesn't get dry.
Aside from pan frying, the other methods can be done without removing the chicken from its high temperature packaging.
This heat-resistant packaging helps them stand out from other cooked chicken breast delivery services like Heaven Eat.
With only one piece of chicken breast in each package, I imagine this can be extremely wasteful. Aside from convenience, customers throw them away after a single use.
Valen told Vulcan Post that they are actually looking for alternatives to plastic, with one option being biodegradable plastic.
Of course, packaging in biodegradable plastic can mean giving up the convenience of being microwaveable. One suggestion is therefore to deliver them in microwaveable containers, whether made of plastic or not.
For example, Essence Kitchen, a Malaysian startup that prepares cooked meals for mothers, packages their groceries in glass containers for customers.
Every time a customer orders a new batch of meals from them, they simply send the previous set of containers back by courier for packaging the next meal.
While this is less convenient in terms of saving space in gym bags or handbags, it might be a reasonable compromise for fitness enthusiasts who are also environmentally conscious.
It could also open TearNEat to a new group of customers who may be reluctant to use the service due to the amount of single-use plastic waste generated.
- You can find out more about TearNEat here.
- You can read about other Malaysian startups here.
Featured image source: Valen, founder of TearNEat