Not Until NotCo: The Future of Food is Here
by Barry Schuler, Jocelyn Kinsey, Randy Glein, and Chris Shanahan
We’re excited to announce our investment in NotCo, an innovative foodtech company that makes delicious plant-based dairy and meat products, as part of its $235 million Series D financing.
It’s no secret that plant-based food alternatives are here to stay. A quick stop at your local grocery provides a dizzying array of options across milk, cheese, ice cream, and meat alternatives. And it’s needed: animal-based food production is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the world and is negatively impacting our planet, climate, and health.
Consumers are voting with their wallets that they want healthier, more sustainable options.
But the majority aren’t going to put up with products that are more expensive or taste “unique.” To reach mainstream adoption, these alternatives need to mimic the foods we’re used to — texture, taste profile, mouth feel — AND not break the bank.
Our team has been on a multi-year journey taste testing every alternative protein product we can get our hands on. Most failed to meet these fundamental criteria… until we discovered Chile-based NotCo and met its visionary leader Matias Muchnick. Its dairy-free NotMilk actually tasted like… milk.
So how do they do it? The trick is creating plant-based products that are truly an analog to the animal version. Instead of relying on trial and error, NotCo does this with the help of its proprietary AI digital chef, Giuseppe, which uses combinations of unintuitive plant-based ingredients to mimic animal-based products at the molecular level.
Who would’ve guessed that combining cabbage, pineapple, pea, and coconut would create a plant-based milk that has the taste and consistency of cow’s milk?!
NotCo’s AI algorithm gets smarter and faster with each product iteration and is cooking up tasty new products across categories — from milk to meat to ice cream.
NotCo has built a leading alternative foods brand in Latin America around its family of beloved plant-based products (NotMilk, NotMayo, NotBurger, NotIceCream, and most recently, NotMeat) and through partnerships with the likes of Burger King and Papa John’s. The company launched its NotMilk brand in the US late last year and is on track to be in 8,000 locations — including Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Wegmans — by the end of the year. This is merely the beginning, as NotCo expects to continue adding products and geographies as they build a presence in the lives of consumers seeking healthier and tasty food alternatives. The market is growing quickly, where BCG estimates alternative protein foods will become a $290 billion market by 2035. With its early leadership and innovative approach, NotCo is well-positioned to capture significant share across multiple alternative protein verticals.
We’re thrilled to partner with Matias and the NotCo team as they take on this important global challenge and help shape the future of food!