NotCo, the Chilean foodtech company producing plant-based products through an AI-powered algorithm, has secured shelf space in 468 stores across the US
Lucho Lopez-May with two packs of NotMilk
Lucho Lopez-May, chief executive of NotCo United States

Chilean foodtech start-up NotCo has launched NotMilk in the US market through a listing in Whole Foods. NotMilk, a plant-based milk alternative derived from a recipe generated by an AI-based algorithm, is now available in 468 stores. The product is available in whole and semi skim formats.

“At Whole Foods Market we always look for high-quality products for our customers, and our customers want a product like NotMilk that offers the flavour of cow’s milk, but plant-based,” said Parker Brody, senior global category manager at Whole Foods. “We are excited and honoured to be the first to introduce NotMilk to our customers, and we look forward to continuing to evolve this alliance.”

Based in Santiago, NotCo has attracted venture capital investment from 11 investors, including Bezos Expeditions – the venture capital firm of Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos. The company has received $115 million in funding from five rounds to date.

NotCo raised $85 million in the Series C that closed in September led by Future Positive and L Catterton.

In the past two years, the plant-based food industry has seen unprecedented growth – 29% compared with 2.2% in general food retail. It has become a staple in the daily diets of many people.

NotCo founder and chief executive Matias Muchnick, said: “The North American market is a great challenge, but we know that our technology and products are unique.”

NotCo: Food from plants

NotMilk cartoon see-through x-ray effect to see plants inside
The recipe of NotMilk is from AI-based algorithm that selects key ant-based ingredients to replicate the nutrition and taste of milk

NotCo produces plant-based products based on a recipe generated by Giuseppe, a proprietary algorithm that uses artificial intelligence to analyse animal-based foods at a structural level. The technology allows the company to recreate them using a variety of plants that exist in nature, obtaining the same product, nutrition, smell, colour, functionality and taste.

Lucho Lopez-May, chief executive of NotCo United States, said: “We know that 33% of plant-based milk consumers in the US revert to dairy products because they don’t meet expectations of taste. We are here to change that.”

Lopez-May has an extensive career in the North American market, having spent 15 years in the Danone Group where he served as president of channels, strategic growth. He also served as chief executive and partner of fresh food supplier company Garland Food.

Muchnick revealed that the US launch was one of two targets for this year, the second being to continue the expansion of its product line. “We are tremendously proud to know that both goals are coming together and the new opportunities they will bring,” he concluded.

Date published: 5 November 2020

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