Business

Chilean NotCo launches plant-based milk in the US

The Latin American Bezos-backed foodtech has a new CEO focused on the American market; NotCo to open a new office in NY

NotCo's founders
NotCo's founders Matias Muchnick, Karim Pichara, and Pablo Zamora. Photo: NotCo
  • Bezos backed startup NotCo has already launched NotMilk, NotBurger, NotIceCream and NotMayo in Latin America;
  • The company will soon open a new office in NY;
  • NotCo’s debut in the US was powered by an $85 million-dollar Series C round led by Bezos Expeditions.

Chilean NotCo, a startup that uses AI to create sustainable foods from plants, announced on Monday its debut in the United States with the launch of its plant-based milk: NotMilk.

The arrival of the foodtech startup to the world’s leading economy was carried out through the 468 stores of the Whole Foods market stores chain with two varieties: NotMilk Whole and NotMilk 2% Reduced Fat.

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Bezos-backed startup NotCo has already launched NotMilk, NotBurger, NotIceCream, and NotMayo in Brazil, Argentina, and Chile, and in less than three years has become the largest and fastest-growing food-tech firm in Latin America.

Over the past two years the plant-based food industry has experienced unchartered growth – 29% compared to 2.2% in general food retail – and plant-based products have become a staple in consumers’ daily routines. As LABS has shown, plant-based startups like Fazenda Futuro are eyeing the US, where vegetable-based products are gaining traction.

According to Vegconomist, plant-based milk is the most established segment in the plant-based category. The newspaper cited The Good Food Institute report of the plant-based market, according to which the alt-milk market accounts for 40% of the total plant-based food sector.

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NotMilk product. Image: NotCo/Courtesy

There is also a forecast by The Plantbased Business Hour that indicates that the plant-based milk market in the US will reach a 50% market share in the next ten years, compared to 14% at present. So, Vegconomist points out that the Chilean startup will face tough rivals in the country, while Impossible Foods (a well known US-based firm) is working on its own milk alternative, “which could lead to major steps for the entire North American plant-based milk category,” says the media outlet.

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“We know 33% of plant-based milk consumers in the US move back to dairy because of compromises in taste. We are here to change that. There are many options in the market, but they miss something – whether that be look, taste or texture – but NotMilk has it all,” says Lucho Lopez-May, CEO of NotCo in North America in a press statement.

A CEO focused on the American market

NotCo’s debut in the US was powered by an $85 million-dollar Series C Round with key industry investors including Bezos Expeditions, Future Positive and L Catterton, as well as follow-on investment from all previous round investors.

The company will soon open a new office in New York to host its commercial operations while maintaining its Machine Learning team that is already partially hosted in San Francisco.

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Lopez-May is the new CEO of NotCo in the US, where he had an extensive career in the American market having spent fifteen years at Group Danone where his last role was President, Strategic Growth Channels and since August 2019 he served as CEO and Partner for Garland Food.

When you think about the taste of milk, a human mind would never think that a combination of pineapple and cabbage would could recreate the taste of milk, but Giuseppe – our artificial intelligence – can and does. That’s the power of introducing a new technology into an obsolete system: you’re adding a whole new world of innovative possibilities that are good for us and the environment.

Matias Muchnick, notco’s ceo and founder

READ ALSO: Foodtech Fazenda Futuro will launch a plant-based sausage

“At Whole Foods Market, we are always looking for high-quality products for our customers, and there is a desire from our customers for a product like NotMilk that delivers the taste of dairy milk, but is plant-based,” says Parker Brody, Senior Global Category Manager at Whole Foods Market. “We are excited and honored to be the first to introduce our customers to NotMilk in the U.S. and look forward to continuing to evolve this partnership.”

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