Chile-based vegan startup The Not Company (NotCo) made its debut in the United States with the launch of NotMilk (in whole and 2-percent varieties) at Whole Foods Market locations nationwide on November 1 (World Vegan Day). The new milk (which retails at $4.99 per half gallon, prices may vary by location) was created to look, taste, and function exactly like its animal-derived counterpart from components that include pineapple and cabbage thanks to NotCo’s proprietary artificial intelligence technology “Giuseppe.” Founded in 2015 by biotech engineer Matías Muchnick, biochemist Pablo Zamora, and computer scientist Karim Pichara, NotCo uses Giuseppe to understand animal products on a molecular level and recreates them from its extensive library of plants and plant-based ingredients. “We are always continuously looking to innovate and create plant-based products that mimic their animal product counterparts, but for the immediate future are excited about launching and growing NotMilk in the US with our Whole Foods partnership,” Muchnick told VegNews.
In Chile, NotCo has created a suite of vegan products, including chickpea-based NotMayo (which has wide domestic distribution); NotMeat (which Papa John’s added to its menu, alongside with US-based Follow Your Heart cheese, across Chile in February); among other innovative products. In March, NotCo raised $30 million from several investors, including from firms controlled by Amazon-founder Jeff Bezos, and closed an $85 million Series C round in September to fund its US expansion.
“We have an extensive portfolio of products already successfully launched in Latin America and are evaluating opportunities across our portfolio to enter the US as the only company that has simultaneously launched products in the market disrupting eggs, dairy, and meat—three massive food and beverage segments,” Muchnick said.