Chile-based food tech company NotCo, best known for its alt-protein products, announced today it is launching its plant-based milk alternative in Whole Foods stores across the U.S. These alt-milk products will be available in Whole and Reduced Fat varieties at stores as of today, according to a press release from NotCo sent to The Spoon.
The launch follows an $85 million Series C funding round from September, an investment the company said would help NotCo expand internationally through both retail and restaurant partnerships. Previously, NotCo raised $30 million in 2019 from a pool of investors that included Amazon head honcho Jeff Bezos. The company’s total funding to date is $115 million.
All that funding and expansion aside, the company has undergone some changes in the last year, including having to restructure its business and do layoffs. NotCo also shut down its Santiago-based production plant for its NotMayo product, passing production of that item on to an unnamed third party. Currently, the NotCo website only lists the milk alternative under its products. A spokesperson for the company told The Spoon that the milk products are currently for sale across Latin America.
Like other milk alternatives out there, NotMilk is comprised of a number of plant sources, pea protein being the main one. Pineapple juice concentrate, cabbage juice concentrate, and chicory root fiber are others. NotCo claims that, with these ingredients as well as AI and machine-learning algorithms, it is able to recreate the taste, texture, and mouthfeel of regular ol’ milk. As of today, U.S. consumers can see how it stacks up in terms of those elements to other choices already in grocery stores.
On that note, NotCo joins the likes of Oatly, Take Two, and others that already have plant-based milk alternatives in the U.S. market. Further down the line, all these companies may have to compete with Impossible, which is developing its own milk alternative. Whether other alt-protein heavyweights like Perfect Day and Eat Just ever come to market with milk alternatives remains to be seen. Regardless, NotCo faces more than a little healthy competition when it comes to retail shelves in the U.S.