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Contxto – While Brazilians adore their pudim de leite condensado (flan) and brigadeiros (fudge balls), many may appreciate new vegan alternatives. Ensuing after its collaboration with Grupo Pão de Açúcar to distribute dairy alternatives, the Chilean foodtech with biotech finesse The Not Company (NotCo) recently launched its plant-based ice cream in Brazil.
With only a few more weeks left of 2019, the startup famous for its vegan mayonnaise also announced plans to premiere its dairy-free milk on Brazilian shelves before 2020 hits. Sticking true to its vegan nature, products include NotMayo, NotIceCream, NotMilk, etc.
At the moment, the only available ice cream flavor is chocolate, although strawberry and vanilla are in the works. According to reports, the company—endorsed by Jeff Bezos—is tailoring recipes to Brazilians’ undeniable sweet tooth.
Vegan dairy products in Latin America
As many environmentally-concerned folks veer away from animal products, NotCo has developed its own software to optimize recipe creation. Called Giuseppe, which may sound like an Italian puppet maker, it’s actually NotCo’s proprietary AI algorithm.
With it, the foodtech-biotech can effectively identify alternatives to animal products by honing in on foods’ molecular structures via machine learning. In other words, the tech allows NotCo to come up with the most “believable” in terms of tastes and textures.
Matias Muchnick, Karim Pichara, and Pablo Zamora originally founded NotCo in 2015 with an investment of US$250,000. A few years later, Kaszek Ventures lead a financial round worth US$3 million, followed by a massive US$30 million investment. During this time, the founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos became one of the startup’s most high-profile investors.
Outside of Chile, vegan enthusiasts can find NotCo’s products in Argentina, Brazil, as well as the United States. On top of healthy eating, consumers can feel good about having a low environmental impact. If you ask me, this makes NotCo one of the most sustainable and promising startups in the region.